EVERETT — An Everett man who fatally shot another man last year told a judge Thursday that he planned to get an education in prison and come out a better man for the benefit of his children and the rest of society.
Anthony Devera, 22, apologized to the family of Pavel Datskiy before being sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.
Datskiy, 24, of Lynnwood was found with a single gunshot wound to the chest on Jan. 19, 2011 inside a south Everett condominium.
Devera was on the run for more than a month before he surrendered to Everett police.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman concluded that Devera’s flight from justice was reason enough to give him a mid-range sentence. Prosecutors had asked for the high end of 8 1/2-years.
Devera had pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter.
Prosecutors initially charged Devera with second-degree murder. He was allowed to plead guilty to the manslaughter charge after it became apparent that he had a viable self-defense claim if the case went to trial.
Additionally, detectives had problems locating witnesses for the prosecutor.
Datskiy’s mother and sister agreed to the plea. They were not at Thursday’s hearing.
Devera didn’t have any prior felony convictions before the shooting.
He admitted he had drugs with him when he went to a party at a condominium on W. Casino Road. Witness later recounted that Devera and the victim had been using heroin and drinking during the party.
Most of the other partygoers left but Devera and Datskiy remained overnight.
Devera later claimed that Datskiy threatened him. He said he thought he was going to be robbed so he shot Datskiy once, according to court papers.
The victim was found upright on a sofa with a gunshot wound to his chest. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell maintained that Datskiy had been unarmed and likely incapacitated because of alcohol and drug use.
Defense attorney Mark Mestel argued that testimony from the medical examiner would have disputed that Datskiy was seated when he was shot. He also said that the crime scene likely had been tampered with by a witness before the man summoned help.
Devera said on Thursday that Datskiy wasn’t seated when he shot him. He said Datskiy backed him into a corner and he was forced to shoot him. He admitted his actions were excessive and he should have called 911 or fled instead of resorting to gunfire.
He added that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions. His chosen lifestyle had put him in that situation and he vowed to change his ways.
Devera said he wants to serve his time and come out a productive man who works, pays taxes and takes care of his family.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.