David Haggard maintained his innocence at the hearing.
“I’ve made mistakes,” the defendant said, “but I didn’t dismember her. Are you kidding me?”
In October, a King County jury convicted the half-brother of second-degree murder for the killing of the 27-year-old mother of twin daughters, after a monthlong trial.
Under state sentencing guidelines, David Haggard faced from 13¾ years to 22 years and one month in prison. Noting the lengths the defendant went to cover up the crime, King County prosecutors pushed for the high end of that range.
David Haggard’s defense attorney Nicholas Marchi requested the low end of the range.
King County Superior Court Judge Sandra Widlan landed closer to the defense, sentencing Haggard to 15 years.
Before her death, Jamie Haggard had reported being afraid of her half-brother. She told friends she was afraid he’d kill her.
In 2016, the siblings were arguing. David Haggard knocked out Jamie in the house they’d been staying in together in Kenmore. He told a friend he should kill her, according to court documents.
On June 9, 2016, she returned to the Kenmore home to pick up her belongings. David Haggard and his girlfriend were there. The girlfriend left to take her child to school, leaving the siblings alone together.
After she sent her last text message at 10:18 a.m., no one heard from her again. More texts were sent from her phone, but David Haggard wrote them, pretending to be his half-sister, according to court papers. The next day, she was supposed to pick up her boyfriend from jail.
After he was released, he repeatedly called her, to no avail. He went to the Kenmore home looking for her.
“She didn’t come get you?” David Haggard reportedly said to the boyfriend. “That’s weird.”
A week later, Jamie Haggard’s father reported her missing.
It took nearly two years for her to be found.
In May 2018, a Snohomish County Public Works crew found a suitcase with remains and a red bed sheet while picking up trash off of the shoulder of Downes Road near Maltby. The brushy roadside is just north of the Echo Falls golf course, about 11 miles northeast of Haggard’s home. Almost all of that distance can be traveled via Highway 522.
Based on the remains, detectives assumed she’d been killed. But it was difficult to immediately figure out the victim’s identity or even their gender. To this day, authorities haven’t determined her cause of death.
Prosecutors say the Kenmore man also tried to burn Jamie Haggard’s body after killing her.
David Haggard, now 48, was previously convicted of second-degree arson and burglary in 2017 after breaking into a construction site, using a forklift to steal equipment and then setting the $140,000 forklift on fire, according to court records. For that crime, he was sentenced to 3¼ years.
At sentencing, the defendant cried as family members spoke. Some called him a “teddy bear” who couldn’t be violent. Another argued he couldn’t have killed his half-sister.
“I have respect for the justice system, we do the best we can,” David Haggard said in court Friday. “With that, it’s not flawless. We see innocent people go to jail all the time. And that’s what’s happening today. I didn’t kill my sister. I love Jamie.”
He plans to appeal his conviction.