By Katya Yefimova Herald Writer
EVERETT — A Snohomish County judge on Tuesday had some harsh words for parents whose kids join gangs as he sentenced a teenage girl to more than 12 years in prison for a gang-related slaying.
Ana Cary Ayala Bustos, 17, of Monroe, likely will be behind bars for almost as long as she’s been alive for her role in the brutal killing last summer of Antonio Marks of Sultan.
Bustos was 16 when Marks was killed. He was just 17.
“I wonder where those families were when their 16-year-old daughter is out all night. When (she) comes home with gang tattoos and runs around with known gang members,” Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ronald Castleberry said on Tuesday afternoon. If parents paid more attention, “maybe we wouldn’t have this problem.”
Bustos and four other young people were captured on a surveillance video on June 17 kicking and stabbing Marks, who was described in court papers as a rival gang member. He bled to death not far from Sultan City Hall. The attackers were members of a Sultan gang that called themselves Brown Pride Soldiers.
The others pleaded guilty and are serving 10 to 15-year sentences. Bustos went to trial in March and was convicted of second-degree murder, a week before her 17th birthday.
Bustos’ mother and other family members were in the courtroom Tuesday as Castleberry sentenced the girl. The sentence was about two years less than what Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow requested.
The standard punishment under state sentencing guidelines is 10 to 18 years.
Marks’ mother and sister pleaded with the judge for the maximum sentence.
Darrow told the judge Bustos showed a “shocking lack of remorse” since the killing. In a taped interview with detectives, the girl smiled when she learned Marks was dead.
Bustos’ defense attorney Karen Halverson told Castleberry on Tuesday the girl acted her age, and was inappropriately nervous.
“She’s a teenager who’s never been in trouble, who was being interviewed by two seasoned detectives,” Halverson said. “She is very sorry for what happened.”
The judge described the girl’s attitude as “cavalier.” He urged families on both sides to take action to help protect young people from gangs.
Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, firstname.lastname@example.org.