Judge denies self-defense claim in manslaughter sentencing

EVERETT — A judge on Thursday didn’t buy a Lake Stevens man’s claim that he was acting in self-defense when he took a life in Lynnwood.

Leo Scott, 36, was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court to 5 1/2 years in prison — the maximum based on his second-degree manslaughter conviction and criminal history. At trial, a jury acquitted Scott of second-degree murder in the death of Windell Vaughn, 32.

Vaughn was found lying face down in a Lynnwood house on 204th Street SW. A large kitchen knife had pierced his lungs and heart.

Prosecutors alleged the convicted felon stabbed Vaughn during an argument.

Witnesses reported hearing the two men shouting. Another reported seeing Scott holding a knife with the blade embedded in Vaughn’s torso.

A witness wrestled the knife away and Vaughn collapsed.

Police found Scott riding a bicycle about 20 blocks from the homicide scene. He was arrested after a brief struggle with officers.

Scott, 36, claimed that he stabbed Vaughn in self-defense. A jury found him criminally negligent in Vaughn’s death but wasn’t persuaded he intended to kill him.

Judge Eric Lucas rejected a defense argument that the defendant should be given a prison term below the standard sentencing range. He pointed out that the victim was stabbed by a knife with a 7 1/2-inch serrated blade.

Based on testimony at trial, Lucas said he was convinced there were no grounds to believe it was a case of self-defense.

The victim “was not the initiator, not the aggressor and not the provoker,” Lucas said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Second teen charged after $1 million in school vandalism

Two teens now face felony charges for damage at two schools in Darrington last summer.

Charged in stabbing, his long list of felonies could grow

The Arlington man is accused of attacking a man who interrupted a possible burglary in Everett.

A potentially transformative council election in Snohomish

As the city adopts a new form of government, many new faces are seeking office.

Mill Creek hires Gina Hortillosa as public works director

Hortillosa will be responsible for creating strategic infrastructure plans to promote economic growth.

1 shot dead, another wounded in apparent Everett robbery

There are indications the victims might have known the shooter, who apparently fled in a vehicle.

No third term for Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe

He quietly has been letting staff and community leaders know that he plans to retire in December 2018.

Ballots are going out and voting will soon begin

In Snohomish County, one of the marquee contests is in Everett where voters are choosing a new mayor.

Most Read