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

Departing mayor’s locally drawn portrait joins city’s pantheon

Artist Elizabeth Person’s portrait of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will hang with others at City Hall.

Inslee proposes tapping reserves, carbon tax in budget plan

The proposal also includes money for the mental health system and efforts to fight opioid addiction.

One dead in crash south of Granite Falls

Two cars collided near the intersection of N. Lake Roesiger Road and Hidden Valley Road.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Counties fed up with unfunded mandates may sue the state

For example, no money has been provided to install, maintain and clear out required ballot boxes.

Pain lingers decade after recession

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Most Read