EVERETT — A south Snohomish County man said he was sorry for a 2016 Christmas Eve stabbing at Alderwood mall that left one man seriously injured and sent shoppers fleeing in terror.
“I apologize to everybody for the whole situation,” Jodie Trevon Taylor, 21, said at his sentencing Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Judge Ellen Fair ordered him to serve more than seven years behind bars. It was an outcome recommended by attorneys on both sides of the case.
Taylor in April pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He admitted knifing a bystander who tried to break up a fight involving the defendant and another young man.
The combatants had a long-running dispute over a $50 drug debt. They came to blows when they happened upon each other in the mall.
The man stabbed while trying to keep the peace reminded the fighters there were kids around.
“It’s Christmas,” he said, before receiving the wound that sent him to the hospital.
Taylor faced roughly two years in prison under state guidelines. But deputy prosecutor Katie Wetmore said there were grounds for an exceptional sentence. The primary reason was Taylor’s stabbing of a man who had been acting as a good Samaritan.
The defendant’s attorney, Laura Shaver, said her client wanted to take responsibility and “has always expressed remorse.”
Taylor had been charged with first-degree assault. Prior to reaching the plea agreement, he was at risk of even stiffer punishment, Fair noted.
The judge said the case’s outcome was appropriate, however. It was clear that Taylor’s life has been one of significant challenges and those “all came together in a very bad way” that Dec. 24 afternoon, she said.
The stabbing initially was reported as a shooting. Shoppers fled as police converged on the scene. Mall security had Taylor in custody. He had a large, folding knife in a pants pocket.
Many of Taylor’s family and friends were in court for the sentencing. The judge told Taylor he’d impressed her with his behavior Tuesday. She also said she hoped those who were standing by him would be just as supportive when the time comes to help him stay away from drugs and build a better life after prison.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.