Crime and Punishment: Man convicted for his involvement in 2019 Licton Springs murder

Aug 15, 2022, 1:40 PM
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Prosecutors convicted Taiwo Heisser of murder in connection to a 2019 case in Seattle’s Licton Springs neighborhood. The murder stemmed from an alleged robbery of the 47-year-old victim’s RV.

At approximately 5 a.m. May 29, 2019, five men, including Heisser, allegedly broke into the RV of Steven Sande, a suspected drug dealer in the neighborhood.

The man Heisser had confronted eventually called 911 after Sande was shot by one of the five intruders. Police believed William Diaz shot the victim as several suspects told police he was carrying a gun and stumbled out of the RV. The witness fled the area in the victim’s car and officers found Sande dead at the scene.

Heisser was sentenced to 14.5 years in prison.

Man indicted for drive-by shooting last summer

Rio Robles was found guilty of a drive-by shooting June 7, 2021 in South Seattle at the 300 block of Renton Avenue. King County Prosecutor’s Office asked that he be held at the time on $150,000 bail, because he was presumed to be a danger.

A judge on Friday sentenced him to 15 months with another 18 months in community custody.

“The difficulty here is that he doesn’t have any felony history,” said Casey McNerthney, spokesperson for King County Prosecutor’s Office. “So what state lawmakers have said is when you have zero offender score, which is the number you have when you have no previous felonies, the range for a drive-by shooting is 15 to 20 months, which a lot of people would say doesn’t seem like a lot.”

Nobody was actively shot at or harmed during the shooting. Bullets were lodged into nearby residences.

The Crime Blotter: Meat cleaver attack leaves Seattle man disfigured

California transplant convicted of assault

Mario Duarte was convicted of an assault that occurred Nov. 2021 at Fifth Ave South and S. Jackson Street in Seattle.

“There was a woman who was walking down the street and, for no reason at all, was assaulted, ” McNerthney said. He was speaking incoherently. “He has a drug history out of California that may have played a factor in it. And it was just an awful attack, those kinds of attacks that you hear about and wonder, whatever happens to the people who commit those crimes.”

Duarte has no ties to the area – coming here in 2021 – but had a conviction history out of California that includes multiple domestic violence cases, drugs, and vandalism charges.

He had two felony drug convictions out of California, giving him a 2 offender score. But his 10 misdemeanor convictions didn’t count toward his offender score in Washington state.

With a sentence for felony assault ranging from 4-12 months, Duarte received a 10-month sentence.

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Crime and Punishment: Man convicted for his involvement in 2019 Licton Springs murder