EVERETT — At 34, Jeffrey Brinkley has struck out.
The Marysville man was sentenced to life in prison under the state’s Three Strikes law after being convicted earlier this month of robbing, kidnapping and assaulting his drug supplier in December 2011.
The life term was a foregone conclusion under a Washington law for three-peat violent offenders.
“I have to impose what is mandated by statue, what is mandated by the Legislature,” Snohomish County Superior Judge Eric Lucas told the defendant.
Prosecutors alleged that Brinkley and his buddy Ethan Mattox turned the tables on a man coming to collect on a drug deal. At trial, Kenny Easley, whose street name is Dirty, told jurors he was knocked to the ground and hauled into the basement of a Marysville house. Once there, the armed men forced him to hand over his watch, wallet and the keys to his car.
Brinkley and Mattox also were accused of pilfering a safe hidden in Easley’s car and helping themselves to $4,000, a handgun and drugs.
Easley later was dropped off at a house where he called his boss, the drug supplier who had fronted him the meth and money. That call led to a home invasion robbery in Marysville as Easley and his boss tried to recover what was stolen. The retaliation went awry after someone in the heavily armed crew mistook one of their own for a rival and blasted the man in the head with a shotgun, according to prosecutors. The slain man, Patrick Buckmaster, was buried in a shallow grave in east Snohomish County.
Brinkley and Mattox were charged in connection with Easley’s robbery. Several other men were charged with crimes tied to the home invasion, including Johnathan “Bigfoot” Frohs who is expected to go to trial in June for Buckmaster’s murder.
In court Thursday, Brinkley criticized a plea agreement prosecutors made with Easley, who someday could be released from prison.
“The prosecution picked the winners and losers in this case,” Brinkley told the judge.
Brinkley said he wishes he had testified at his trial to explain to the jury his version of happened that day.
“The prosecution took the word of an admitted liar — somebody that lied about everything that happened that day so he could lessen his punishment — and they made me out to be the bad guy,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley is planning to appeal his conviction.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.