David Nieuwenhuis (right) addresses the court before being sentenced at the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett on Monday. Nieuwenhuis will serve 23 years for the second-degree murder of Candice Black in 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

David Nieuwenhuis (right) addresses the court before being sentenced at the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett on Monday. Nieuwenhuis will serve 23 years for the second-degree murder of Candice Black in 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

23 years for Mountlake Terrace man convicted of ‘revenge’ killing

David Nieuwenhuis killed Candice Black in 2018, blaming her for his stepson’s overdose death days earlier. She was 29.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — At 3 years old, Candice Black could stand on a table and entertain her whole family.

The Edmonds native was a talented artist and loved Disney, according to family members.

She was a “born leader” who “wanted to show the world just who she was,” her younger sister wrote in a statement read Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

“What a shame the world will never know such a beautiful person,” the sister wrote.

David Nieuwenhuis killed Black in 2018. She was 29.

In convicting Nieuwenhuis, 46, of second-degree murder last month, a jury found Black’s killing was no accident. Prosecutors argued it was a “revenge” killing after Nieuwenhuis blamed Black for the overdose death of his stepson, who was dating Black, days before the killing.

His defense attorneys, on the other hand, claimed he was in the “fight for his life” after Black hit him with an iPad. At the same time, he acted recklessly while mourning, they conceded.

Nieuwenhuis was sentenced Monday to 23 years and two months in prison, at the high end of state sentencing guidelines.

On the afternoon of Nov. 11, 2018, Nieuwenhuis told Black to pick up her belongings from his Mountlake Terrace home, where she had been staying with his stepson, Kyle Johnson, according to court papers. She took the bus from Seattle.

The defendant told police that Black got to his home around 4 p.m. They talked in his living room for about two hours. He reportedly told her he’d found evidence she had been dealing drugs with Johnson. Nieuwenhuis said he was going to report it to the police, according to court documents.

At some point, he went to use the bathroom. That’s when, Nieuwenhuis reported, Black struck with him the iPad.

At trial in Snohomish County Superior Court, his attorneys argued he acted in self-defense when he grabbed a maple stick from behind his front door and hit Black with it. The two somehow ended up outside. Nieuwenhuis left Black out there, went back inside and fell asleep, according to court documents.

Hours later, he called 911. He said Black was lying in the driveway and that he may have killed her.

At trial, prosecutors made a case to convict Nieuwenhuis of premeditated murder in the first degree. The defense urged the jury to convict him of first-degree manslaughter. They instead found him guilty of second-degree murder after a four-day trial. Nieuwenhuis declined to testify.

Under state sentencing guidelines, Nieuwenhuis faced roughly 15 to 23 years for Black’s death. Prosecutors pushed for the high end of that range.

Judge Millie Judge agreed, saying the Mountlake Terrace man killed Black “with retribution.”

Nieuwenhuis had multiple prior felony convictions. In 1999, he was sentenced to six months in jail for second-degree incest. In the years following, he was convicted multiple times of failure to register as a sex offender.

In court Monday, Nieuwenhuis said he would regret killing Black for the rest of his life.

“I think about it for hours before I go to sleep,” Nieuwenhuis said. “It’ll affect me until I die.”

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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