EVERETT — A Snohomish County jury on Monday acquitted a Lake Stevens man of murder, but it wasn’t convinced that the Aug. 8 killing of Windell Vaughn was justifiable.
Jurors convicted Leo Scott of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the fatal stabbing.
Vaughn, 32, was found lying face down in a Lynnwood house on 204th Street SW. A large, kitchen knife had pierced his lungs and heart.
Prosecutors charged Scott, one of the victim’s acquaintances, with second-degree murder, alleging that 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.
Scott fled the house. Police spotted him riding a bicycle about 20 blocks from the homicide scene. He was arrested after a brief struggled with officers.
Scott, 36, claimed that he stabbed Vaughn in self-defense.
Jurors deliberated for a few hours on Monday after a week-long trial. The jury wasn’t convinced that Scott acted in self-defense.
Instead, they concluded that Scott was criminally negligent. The verdict, however, indicates that jurors weren’t persuaded that Scott intended to kill Vaughn.
Jurors did find that Scott was armed with a knife during the killing, likely earning him additional prison time.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas is scheduled to sentence Scott next week.
The defendant has prior felony convictions for drugs and unlawful gun possession. He has more than a dozen misdemeanor convictions.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, firstname.lastname@example.org