MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Man sentenced to 45 years in killing of WSP Justin Schaffer

Jul 7, 2022, 6:12 AM | Updated: 9:31 am

Trooper Justin Schaffer. (Washington State Patrol)...

Trooper Justin Schaffer. (Washington State Patrol)

(Washington State Patrol)

A judge has sentenced a man to 45 years in prison for hitting and killing a state trooper with his car as he was placing spike strips on I-5.

In March 2020 Thurston County deputies were chasing William Thompson down I-5 following a robbery at a convenience store. 41-year-old Thompson was accused of trying to run over the store clerk.

During the chase, Washington State Trooper Justin Schaffer deployed a spike strip to stop Thompson. Instead, he swerved around the strip, running Schaffer over. Schaffer was taken to the hospital but died from his injuries.

In addition to the murder charge for Schaffer’s death, Thompson faced an attempted murder charge for trying to hit another state trooper, Michael Farkas.

State trooper struck, killed on I-5 in Chehalis

Thompson received 26 and a half years for the murder charge, and 18 and a half years for the attempted murder charge, totaling 540 months, or 45 years.

The trooper’s family agreed to the length of the sentence, to spare other troopers and witnesses from having to testify, according to court documents.

They also have requested a no-contact order from Thompson for the rest of his life.

Thompson entered an Alford plea, which allowed him to a plea bargain without admitting guilt. Alford pleas happen when the accused admits that a prosecutor has enough evidence to convince a judge and jury of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt but they publicly maintain their innocence.

Schaffer was 28 when he died, leaving behind a family and his wife.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

16 hours ago

Photo: Firefighters responded after a person called 911 to report smoke coming from an Edmonds home...

Julia Dallas

Man dies after Edmonds home catches fire

Firefighters responded after a person called 911 to report smoke coming from an Edmonds home and sounds of a baby crying inside.

23 hours ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

2 days ago

Image: A Bellingham Police Department vehicle is seen on a city street in 2015....

Julia Dallas

Bellingham sixth grader allegedly punched by man in racist attack

A Bellingham 6th-grader was allegedly attacked by a man who was spewing racist comments during a school field trip on Wednesday.

2 days ago

Photo: Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to ...

Julia Dallas

Seattle school to say goodbye to cell phones in the fall

Starting this fall, students at Seattle's Hamilton International Middle School will have to lock up their cell phones during school hours.

2 days ago

Image: A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is displayed at the Neighborcare Health cli...

Sam Campbell and Steve Coogan

Measles case reported at West Seattle clinic; know the symptoms

A child, now confirmed to have measles, went to the Franciscan Health Urgent Care clinic in West Seattle, officials said in a release Friday.

2 days ago

Man sentenced to 45 years in killing of WSP Justin Schaffer