8-year sentence for attack in Snohomish park

SNOHOMISH — The Kleins were happy to move their family from Everett to Snohomish about four years ago.

The small-town feel reminded Rustin Klein of where he grew up in Arizona. His wife, Yvette, always wanted to live there, even as a little girl.

A brutal attack on their sons in the summer of 2013 has changed how they see the town, at least for now.

Rustin Klein says he believes the crime was a one-time situation. It’s harder for his wife to see beyond what happened to her boys.

“I’m not there yet,” she said. “I’m trying to trust Snohomish again as a quiet, little community.”

The Kleins and their youngest son were in court on Monday when the primary suspect Tristan Smith was sentenced to eight years in prison.

After lengthy negotiations, Smith, a convicted felon, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault while armed with a knife. Prosecutors agreed to drop a more serious first-degree assault charge in exchange for the plea and an exceptional sentence beyond the standard range.

“What made this case challenging was it was crime without a motive,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson said.

The Kleins’ sons, ages 13, 22 and 23, were playing with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee at the old freshman campus, now the site of the aquatic center. Smith and his girlfriend, Rachel Patterson, approached the trio and a few words were exchanged. The victims told police Smith suddenly attacked the oldest brother first with a extendable baton. The victims yelled for their youngest brother to run. Smith then pulled a knife and stabbed the older brother in the chest. The middle brother ran to help and was attacked by Patterson, according to court papers. Smith also attacked him.

The brothers, bleeding heavily from their wounds, were able to walk home.

They were covered in blood, Yvette Klein said. Her first-born son collapsed on the floor and was having a hard time breathing. They would later learn that he’d been stabbed twice, once in the chest and under his arm. The knife punctured his lung. He was hospitalized for three days.

Patterson, 28, recently was sentenced to three years in prison. She also pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, None of the victims or witnesses could identify Patterson as taking part in assault and there was no physical evidence tying her to the crime, Dickinson said.

He agreed to reduce the first-degree assault charge in exchange for her guilty plea and the promise that she would testify against Smith at trial. She planned to testify that Smith went to the playfield armed with a knife, Dickinson said. That was expected to dispute Smith’s claims that he had been acting in self-defense.

The Kleins said they were grateful for the efforts of police and the prosecutor’s office.

Smith, 30, on Monday apologized to the family. He told them he never intended to hurt anyone. He was high on heroin at the time and his lifestyle made him paranoid, he said. The judge was told that the defendant felt threatened.

Smith said he hoped the family could find some closure after Monday’s hearing.

“It might bring closure to him. He’ll do his time and get out. These kids will suffer forever,” Rustin Klein said after the hearing.

Their oldest son continues to recover from his physical injuries. He also was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder because of the attack. He’s become hypervigilant and suffers from nightmares, his parents said.

“His anxiety keeps him from doing more independent activities that he used to do,” his mom said.

Their other two sons and their daughter also are more cautious about being out in public. Yvette Klein also is anxious when any of her four children are out. They know to check in with her to ease her worries.

“We could have lost one or three of the boys,” Rustin Klein said. “We’re very fortunate.”

The Kleins plan to stay in Snohomish.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463, hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains on Wednesday. (Provided by the National Weather Service)
Red flag warning issued for eastern Snohomish County through Wednesday

The National Weather Service says critical fire conditions are either imminent or occurring now.

Traffic camera shows Everett and Marysville firefighters on the scene of a crane accident along northbound I-5 near milepost 198 Tuesday evening. (Provided photo)
Two workers fall from I-5 bridge Tuesday evening

The workers were in a “cherry picker” type bucket when it tipped over. One man fell 60 feet into the water and was taken to the hospital.

Lynnwood
Everett motorcyclist dies on Highway 99

Alexis Hernandez Cerritos was riding south on Highway 99 when a car driving north turned in front of him.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett’s rival minimum wage proposals: Second group submits signatures

Supporters from Raise the Wage Responsibly said their proposal strikes a balance between employees and employers.

Components of downtown Marysville’s new stormwater treatment facility can be seen from the walkway on Thursday, July 11, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. While much of the treatment and filtering happens out of sight, visitors of the area will see troughs, left, spilling water out onto the surrounding landscape, which soaks up the filtered water before it makes its way into a nearby lagoon. Overflow grates, right, help alleviate flooding during heavy rains. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
At new Marysville water treatment facility, plants filter out pollutants

City officials expect the $14 million project to clean 110 million gallons of water every year, reducing harm to wildlife.

Everett
Everett man sentenced to jail for threatening to bomb car dealership

The sentencing of Michael Harsh comes over two years after he threatened to bomb an Evergreen girls basketball game.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.