EVERETT — A mass murderer from Mukilteo is scheduled to face the “conscience of the community” Thursday as the families of his victims tell a Snohomish County judge about the horror he unleashed when he began shooting at a July house party.
Allen Ivanov, 20, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison for killing three teens and attempting to murder three others.
While the outcome of his sentencing hearing already is decided as a matter of law, it still serves an important function for those harmed, deputy prosecutors Adam Cornell and Lisa Paul said in court papers addressed to Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis.
They urged the judge to allow testimony from all those Ivanov hurt, including people who were witnesses to the carnage.
“When they speak at sentencing they speak as the conscience of our community and to preserve the memory of those lost and irreparably damaged,” the prosecutors wrote. “On July 30, 2016, Defendant spoke with bullets. It is now time to hear words of defiance to his acts.”
Ivanov pleaded guilty Dec. 19, the day before Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe was scheduled to announce whether he would seek the death penalty.
The prosecutor agreed not to pursue capital punishment. In exchange, Ivanov pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. The plea agreement eliminated the need for a trial. Ivanov also waived his rights to appeal, including the opportunity to challenge his mandatory sentence of life in prison without release.
A large crowd is anticipated at Thursday’s hearing. Special arrangements were being made, not only for security, but to allow people to view the proceeding via video feed in another courtroom should seating become a problem.
Ivanov, a former University of Washington Bothell student, admitted killing his former girlfriend, Anna Bui, and acquaintances Jacob Long and Jordan Ebner, all 19. He also acknowledged trying to murder Will Kramer, who was shot in the back, and shooting at other young men as they ran for cover.
Prior to the gunfire, Ivanov wrote a six-page letter, explaining that he was upset over the end of his relationship with Bui. He insisted there was nothing wrong with him or the way he thinks.
“I’m selfish. That’s why I did this,” Ivanov wrote.
Ivanov had told friends about his anger over Bui moving on with her life after the breakup. He also shared his plans for buying a Ruger brand AR-15-style rifle and two magazines carrying 30 rounds apiece. His friends urged him to move on, to seek help and to get rid of the gun before he did something horrible.
Ivanov fled the party after the shootings. He offered no resistance when law officers stopped him a couple of hours later, driving south on I-5 near Chehalis.
Ivanov waived his right to legal counsel and agreed to speak with investigators. He told them that he’d never fired the weapon before using it to kill.
Walter Peale, one of Ivanov’s defense attorneys, said after last month’s guilty pleas that the primary goal of the defense was to keep his client alive. Ivanov had “almost zero” likelihood of acquittal of all charges had the case gone to trial.
Ivanov feels deep remorse and regrets his actions, Peale said, although he added that it has been difficult for his client to demonstrate that so far.
While awaiting trial, Ivanov wrote rap lyrics about the “murder game,” and appeared to directly reference the Mukilteo shootings. The lyrics became public when he enlisted his mother’s help in mailing them to a convicted killer he met while they both were awaiting trial in the county jail. Inmate mail is screened.
In their memo to Ellis, prosecutors did not dwell on the mechanics of what they called Ivanov’s “unpardonable crimes.”
No adequate record “can be made of the horror, shock, depravity, and senselessness of his offenses on his victims, on their families and loved ones, and on our community,” Cornell and Paul wrote.
“While words may perhaps more easily calculate what was lost on July 30, 2016 — innocent life, a sense of personal security, for example — words will never be able to account for what could have been had that day passed without the unspeakable terror that brings us to this point.”
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.