Fifteen people convicted of second-degree murder have had their convictions invalidated by controversial state Supreme Court decisions. Fourteen of the cases have been returned to Snohomish County Superior Court for further action. Scores of others around the state also were affected.
In all the cases, the legal theory underlying the original charge was that the death was unintentional and occurred during an assault. New charges, with different theories, have been filed in some cases.
Here’s what has happened so far in Snohomish County.
David Crane: Convicted of beating his 3-year-old nephew to death in 1986. On Jan. 14, he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, got credit for time served and was released the same day.
Noreen Erlandson: Convicted in 1992 of beating to death her 21/2-year-old adopted daughter. The former Bothell nurse pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Dec. 8. She was given credit for time served in prison and released the same day.
Terrence Wetmore: Convicted by jury of stabbing to death a fellow inmate in the dining room of the reformatory at Monroe in 1984. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter July 1 and was freed because he had already served his 10-year prison term.
Dale Schwab: Convicted in 1998 of helping someone else beat a man unconscious and place him on railroad tracks. The men allegedly watched as a train ran over the victim. Schwab was sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter April 29, meaning he will have about three years to serve. He shaved four years off his original term.
Robert Kuchan: Pleaded guilty in 1997 to shooting his girlfriend in the head. He pleaded guilty June 17 to intentional second-degree murder and got a 15-year prison sentence, about two years less than the original term.
Huy Vu Dang: Fired three shots into a car full of young people, killing one. A jury convicted him of second-degree murder in 1992. Prosecutors have filed a new first-degree murder charge against Dang, alleging that he exhibited extreme indifference to human life. The case is pending.
Jason Delano: Pleaded guilty to beating a 1-year-old child to death in 1999. Prosecutors filed a new first-degree manslaughter charge, and Delano pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, six less than the original sentence for murder.
Marygrace Fajarillo: Told a judge she doesn’t want to challenge her conviction and will remain in prison serving a 15-year term for shooting her boyfriend’s roommate in 1999.
Michael Fraser: Pleaded guilty to shooting a man during a bar fight in 1992. He pleaded guilty April 18 to first-degree manslaughter, was sentenced to less than six years, got credit for time served and was released from prison.
Thomas Humphries: Pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering his pregnant ex-girlfriend in 1992. Prosecutors are arguing that his case is not covered by the decisions.
Kenneth Jensen: Convicted of shooting a neighbor in 2001 after a long-standing dispute. Prosecutors filed a new intentional murder charge, and his case is pending.
Dwight McGunnigle: A jury convicted him of shooting his wife in the head in 1986. His case is pending.
Paris Perrantes: Convicted of threatening three women with a shotgun during an argument in 1997. A jury convicted him of both manslaughter and second-degree murder. An appeals court later ruled he could not be convicted of both charges for the same crime, and threw out the manslaughter conviction. Now, prosecutors have asked a judge to reinstate that conviction.
Raymond Frost: Pleaded guilty to the stabbing death of a fellow inmate at an Everett work-release facility in 1978. Prosecutors argue that the Supreme Court decisions don’t apply to his case.
Robert Tolbert: A jury convicted him of killing one man and wounding another during an argument in 1990. Tolbert Thursday pleaded guilty to intentionally killing a man and is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 23. He could cut his original prison term by two years.D