By Gene Johnson Associated Press
SEATTLE — A judge today sentenced a man to life in prison without the possibility of release for killing one woman and wounding five other people in a rampage at a Seattle Jewish Federation office.
Mental illness impaired Naveed Haq’s judgment but not seriously, Judge Paris Kallas said.
“Mr. Haq understood his plan, knew it was wrong, and carried it out anyway,” she said.
The courtroom remained hushed as the sentence was announced.
Haq, 34, of Pasco, and his father appealed to Kallas for forgiveness. Haq said he thanks God every day more people were not killed and said a cocktail of poorly prescribed psychiatric drugs turned him into a violent man.
“I pray for forgiveness every day for the death of Pam Waechter. She should not have died,” Haq said.
But he insisted his violence resulted from the combo of meds: “I am not a man filled with hate.”
Kallas also heard from victims and their supporters, including Nicole Waechter, whose mother, Pam, was killed in the July 2006 shooting. Waechter told the judge her mother would have wanted her friends and family to move on and keep laughing.
Another victim, Cheryl Stumbo, directed her remarks toward Haq, who was found guilty in December on aggravated murder and attempted murder charges.
“You failed at everything you tried to do that day. You failed, and I triumphed,” she said.