Everett man who killed soccer star to be sentenced today

Tight security is planned today for what is expected to be an emotional sentencing hearing in the case of an Everett man who slipped into a Stanwood-area home in August and killed a former Mariner High School soccer star.

Dustin Maurice Jackson, 19, is facing more than 20 years in prison. He pleaded guilty in February to shooting Nicholas DeSimone in the head as he slept on the floor of his girlfriend’s home.

“We’re expecting a large turnout and it could be very emotional on both sides,” said Joan Cavagnaro, Snohomish County’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor.

Cavagnaro plans to ask Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman to impose the high end of the sentencing range, nearly 28 years. The low end of the range is nearly 21 years.

Cavagnaro asked for extra corrections officers and sheriff’s deputies because the hearing has the potential to become volatile, she said.

Prosecutors alleged that Jackson shot DeSimone out of jealousy.

DeSimone was dating a 16-year-old girl who used to go out with Jackson. Jackson made attempts to regain the affection of girl, and once told her: “I know you are going to be mine again,” according to court documents.

He also threatened “to take care of” DeSimone in a telephone conversation with a mutual friend the day before the shooting, and said via a text message the same day that he would “shoot Nick in the face,” documents said.

Prosecutors alleged that Jackson slipped through an unlocked door of the girl’s home and shot DeSimone in the head as he slept on the floor next to her.

The girl told police she didn’t hear the gunshot. She said she was dreaming of fireworks and thought she smelled smoke. When she tried to wake up DeSimone about 4:30 a.m., she saw blood on his pillow and screamed, documents said.

A neighbor reported seeing a car similar to the one driven by Jackson leaving the area early that morning, documents said.

When he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February, Jackson didn’t mention his jealousy of DeSimone in plea papers:

“I killed him because he made what I considered credible threats against me and my family members,” Jackson wrote. “I realize that this does not constitute a defense to my actions.”

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or jhaley@heraldnet.com.

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