EVERETT — Two King County men are looking at prison after a March 2017 drug deal in Everett that ended with two teens shot, one fatally.
Brian Garrett Wingender, 23, on Friday pleaded guilty to one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver while armed with a handgun. If the sentencing judge sticks to the terms of the plea agreement, Wingender is looking at just shy of four years behind bars.
Also on Friday his co-defendant, Dustin Bradshaw, 23, of Bothell, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to just under two years in prison for an unrelated June drive-by shooting in Kirkland. That crime happened while he was out on bail after pleading guilty and agreeing to testify in the Everett case. His time for the Everett crime will be served concurrent with the King County drive-by sentence, court papers say.
The Everett charges were the legal fallout from a failed marijuana deal near Everett’s Clark Park on March 13, 2017.
Bradshaw drove Wingender to Everett to sell more than two pounds of marijuana. Instead, the would-be buyers — young men with criminal histories — attempted to take the drugs by force.
Everett police were drawn by sounds of gunfire that morning. They found Francisco Vazquez, then 17, with gunshot wounds. John Muhlstein, 18, was dead, a handgun reportedly on the ground nearby.
Vazquez, a confirmed gang member with extensive criminal history, was prosecuted as an adult. Wingender later testified at trial that he shot both of the teens after they attempted to rob him. Vazquez was convicted of first-degree robbery and sentenced to more than five years.
Wingender entered an Alford plea in the drug case. In court papers, he maintained he didn’t believe himself guilty as charged, but acknowledged that he likely would be convicted based on the evidence.
Sentencing is scheduled June 28 before Judge Anthony Howard. At Friday’s hearing, the judge carefully questioned Wingender to make certain he understood he is not bound by the recommendation, regardless of the agreement reached by his defense attorney and prosecutors. The maximum sentence is five years.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.