Three-strike lifers of Snohomish County

It’s been almost 20 years since Washington voters overwhelmingly passed the Persistent Offender Accountability Act — more commonly known as the “three-strikes” law. In Snohomish County, 32 people have been sentenced to life in prison as persistent offenders. One in five have had sentences overturned. A few beat a life sentence once but later were convicted of another strike and sentenced to life.

Below is a complete list.

Under the law, dozens of violent felony crimes are labeled “most serious offenses” and categorized as “strikes.” If a person racks up three strikes, the law mandates a sentence of life in prison without possibility of release.

Strike crimes include murder, assault, extortion, burglary while armed with a deadly weapon and robbery.

Legislators passed a similar law in 1996, specifically targeting sex offenders. Under that law, anyone who is convicted of two sex crimes on separate occasions also faces a life sentence.

Data show that more than half of Snohomish County persistent offenders were sentenced within the first five years of the law’s enactment in 1994. About a dozen people have been prosecuted as strikers since 2000.

The majority of the third-strike cases in Snohomish County involved first- and second-degree robbery and second-degree assault convictions. There have been a handful of men sentenced to life for sex offenses.

Proponents believed the tougher sentencing law would put away the most dangerous criminals, reduce the number of habitual offenders and bring consistency to sentences.

Opponents say the law stole any discretion that judges had to evaluate the circumstances of each case in a way that is just and fair.

Since the strike laws were passed, statewide there have been 414 people sentenced to life as a striker, according to the state Department of Corrections. Sixty-five of those cases, about 16 percent, have been overturned.

There are 320 offenders serving life sentences under the persistent offender laws. The vast majority are third-strikers. There are 49 sex offenders serving life for a second sex-offense conviction.

Washington’s three-strike law was the first in the country and came on the heels of horrific and highly publicized crimes committed by habitual offenders. Its passage in 1993 made national headlines, as did the first offenders sentenced under the new law. Since then about two dozen other states have enacted similar laws.

Snohomish County’s persistent offenders

Name Sentenced Offense Type of life sentence Age at sentencing Gender Race Appeal outcome
Larry L. Fisher 6/20/1994 Robbery 2 Three strikes 36 M White
Dwight A. Griffin 11/17/1994 Robbery 1 (attempted) Three strikes 42 M Black
James M. Thorne 12/16/1994 Kidnapping 1 Three strikes 52 M White Overturned
Sabas E. Cruz 1/5/1995 Rape of a child 1 Three strikes 41 M White Overturned
Martin J. Morley 1/27/1995 Child molestation 2 Three strikes 39 M White
William B. Greene 7/14/1995 Kidnapping 1 Three strikes 41 M White
William C. Mulholland 3/1/1996 Assault 2 (deadly weapon) Three strikes 32 M White Overturned
Flint D. Harris 6/4/1996 Robbery 2 Three strikes 40 M White Overturned
Jacqueline M. Fletcher 7/14/1996 Robbery 2 Three strikes 32 F White
Eugene Smith 10/4/1996 Robbery 1 (deadly weapon) Three strikes 41 M Black
Lawrence D. Fillion 10/16/1996 Robbery 2 Three strikes 25 M White
James E. Swann 10/16/1996 Robbery 2 Three strikes 32 M White
Herbert A. Blumer III 10/21/1996 Murder 1 (attempted) Three strikes 37 M White
Edwin L. Fitzgerald 10/25/1996 Rape of a child 1 Three strikes 37 M White
David L. Ball 10/28/1996 Assault 2 Three strikes 40 M Native Am.
Kurt J. Angelone 1/17/1997 Murder 1 (attempted) Three strikes 43 M White
Robert J. King III 3/26/1997 Kidnapping 1 (firearm) Three strikes 44 M Black
Richard R. Astrides 7/7/1997 Robbery 2 Three strikes 44 M White
Hubba D. Teal 5/15/1998 Robbery 1 (firearm) Three strikes 22 M Black Overturned
Brian R. Beals 2/18/1999 Robbery 1 (attempted, deadly weapon) Three strikes 43 M White
Hubba D. Teal 8/20/1999 Robbery 1 Three strikes 23 M Black Overturned
Cherease L. Cross 3/27/2000 Robbery 2 Three strikes 38 F Black
Anthony D. Snow 12/15/2000 Rape 2 Three strikes 33 M Black
Gaylon L. Thiefault 8/10/2001 Rape 2 (attempted) Sex offenses 40 M White Resentenced
Jamie L. Wallin 7/31/2003 Rape of a child 1 Sex offenses 29 M White Overturned
Robert L. Vance 9/2/2003 Child molestation 1 Sex offenses 51 M White
Gaylon L. Thiefault 10/1/2003 Rape 2 (attempted, same case as 8/10/2001 sentencing) Three strikes 41 M White
Tronie J. Young 12/1/2003 Murder 2 Three strikes 28 M Black
Matthew J. Fica 2/3/2005 Rape of a child 2 Sex offenses 46 M White
Nelson A. Anselment 10/12/2005 Robbery 1 Three strikes 67 M White
Michael J. Hoover 11/14/2006 Robbery 1 Three strikes 34 M White
Anthony P. Viscussi 4/5/2007 Assault 2 Three strikes 27 M White
Jamie L. Wallin 6/27/2007 Child molestation 1 Sex offenses 33 M White
Jamie L. Wallin 3/12/2008 Rape of a child 1 Sex offenses 33 M White
James M. Thorne 4/7/2009 Robbery 1 Three strikes 66 M White
Jerry A. Perkins 3/23/2011 Assault 2 Three strikes 40 M White
Donald A. Elliott 6/9/2011 Robbery 2 Three strikes 45 M White

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