BOTHELL — A Seattle man whose conviction was previously overturned was sentenced to just over 10 years in prison for a 2016 murder near Bothell.
On Dec. 9, 2016, Jesse Randall Ackerman had smoked heroin with a friend in his green Ford Mustang on a dead-end street off Filbert Road, according to charging papers.
The friend left Ackerman in the car and reportedly went out shopping around 2:50 p.m., when a neighbor texted her asking about the Mustang. The friend told her neighbor to knock on the window and tell Ackerman to leave.
Ryan Osborne went outside to let him know the police had been called, and after he tapped on the window, Osborne raced back to his home, his girlfriend reported. Ackerman shot him. The victim died within minutes. He was 36.
Court records show Ackerman fled and called the same friend. He claimed Osborne robbed him, without mentioning the shooting.
In 2017, a Snohomish County jury convicted Ackerman of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Osborne. Ackerman, who had no prior criminal record, claimed self-defense. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Millie Judge sentenced him to more than 19 years, in line with the request of local prosecutors.
But in late 2019, the state Court of Appeals granted Ackerman, now 28, a new trial.
At trial, the judge modified a standard jury instruction to read that homicide is justifiable if it’s done to resist a “violent felony,” and “the slayer reasonably believed that the violent felony threatens imminent danger of death.”
The standard language does not include the word “violent,” and another custom instruction noted that “robbery is a felony,” without stating if it’s a violent one or not. Rather than seeing the amendment as clearing up a hazy legal question, the Court of Appeals found the trial court “failed to make the law of self-defense manifestly apparent to the average juror.”
In September 2020, Ackerman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Osborne’s death, the same charge the jury convicted him of. Under state sentencing guidelines, he faced between 10¼ and 18⅓ years in prison.
After a negotiation between the defense and prosecutors, Judge sentenced Ackerman on Sept. 9, 2020, to the low end of that range.
In recommending that sentence, deputy prosecutor Robert grant credited Ackerman with pleading guilty, which “offers Ryan’s friends and family some closure to this tragic chapter in their lives.”
“They never have to worry about another appeal and what that court may do years from now,” Grant wrote in court papers. “Most importantly, they do not have to testify again and endure the agony of reliving Ryan’s final moments in a courtroom.”
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.
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