Kent man, 52, receives reduced sentence in Seattle fatal shooting

Pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter after video of 2020 shooting indicates self-defense

Courtesy Photo, King County Superior Court

Courtesy Photo, King County Superior Court

A Kent man, charged four years ago with second-degree murder in a Seattle shooting, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and received a reduced sentence after his defense attorneys claimed he fired in self-defense.

Larone Deshawn Charles, 52, received a six-year sentence from King County Superior Court Judge Tanya L. Thorpe after a May 17 hearing. He pleaded guilty in February to second-degree manslaughter in the July 21, 2020 shooting of Anthony E. Parker, 49.

“The court made an order on the defense’s motion for an exceptional sentence down,” said Casey McNerthney, spokesperson for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, in a May 22 email. “The standard range is 87 to 116 months (seven to nine years, eight months). The court’s sentence was 72 months.”

McNerthney said the court ruling took into account Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.94A.535, part 1, section a, which reads, “To a significant degree, the victim was an initiator, willing participant, aggressor, or provoker of the incident.”

In the July 21, 2020 shooting, Seattle Police responded to reports of a person shot at about 4:15 a.m. at the Everspring Motel in the 8200 block of Aurora Avenue North. Officers found Parker with a gunshot wound and he died at the scene.

Surveillance video showed Charles in the motel lobby and later in the parking lot with five other people, according to charging papers. Parker entered the parking lot and went into the lobby. Charles followed him. It appears they were having words, according to the police report. Charles pulled out a gun and had it at his right side. Parker also pulled out a weapon and had it at his right side.

Charles then raised his gun and began to fire. It appears that Charles shot first. Parker had two spent cartridge casings in the cylinder of his weapon suggesting he may have shot back. Parker died from a gunshot wound to his chest, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“The court made this decision after watching a video of the incident, which the defense argued was a case of self-defense,” McNerthney said. “Prosecutors asked for a standard-range sentence; defense asked for the exceptional sentence down. Ultimately the court has to weigh arguments from both prosecutors and defense before making a sentencing decision.”

Two days after the shooting, Seattle detectives received an anonymous tip about Charles and discovered that the photo of Charles matched the shooter in the motel video. A second tip corroborated that Charles was the man in the surveillance footage from a person who had previously known Charles.

Kent Police arrested Charles at about 10:58 p.m. July 25, 2020 in the 25000 block of Pacific Highway South. Officers transported Charles to Seattle Police Headquarters.

McNerthney said prosecutors considered self-defense and evidentiary factors within the case, which played a role in the resolution of a plea agreement to a lesser charge.

“The court is expected to make a filing in the coming weeks with additional details on the court’s interpretation of the victim’s actions in this case,” McNerthney said.

Charles is in custody of the state Department of Corrections (DOC) at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, according to prison records. He was transferred to the state prison May 21 from the King County jail, where he had been in custody since his arrest and awaiting trial.

Charles will receive credit for time served, which will reduce how long he stays in prison. After his release, the judge ordered him to 18 months of community custody with the state DOC.

Prosecutors also filed a second-degree assault charge in 2020 against Charles for an incident that occurred on June 12, 2020 and that detectives found out about during their investigation into the shooting. Charles pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of fourth-degree assault in February,and the sentence will run concurrent as part of his 72-month sentence for second-degree manslaughter.

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