Soccer star’s killer gets nearly 28 years in prison

An Everett man was sentenced to nearly 28 years in prison today for slipping into a Stanwood-area home in August and fatally shooting a former Mariner High School soccer star.

Dustin Maurice Jackson, 19, received the top punishment allowed under state sentencing guidelines during an emotional court hearing held under heavy security.

He pleaded guilty in February to first-degree murder, admitting he shot Nicholas DeSimone in the head as the young man slept on the floor of his girlfriend’s home.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman said he agreed with Vince DeSimone, the soccer star’s father, who described the killing as “a senseless execution.”

At one point, Vince DeSimone attempted to jump over a railing separating onlookers from the front of the courtroom. He was restrained by his son, Michael, and several uniformed Snohomish County sheriff’s officers.

Later, DeSimone was allowed to address McKeeman. DeSimone stood with and leaned on sheriff’s homicide detective Brad Pince while he spoke.

The hearing was charged with emotion. When Jackson was ushered into the courtroom from a side door, he was greeted by cries of “Devil, hi Devil.” There were similar jeers by DeSimone supporters at the end when Jackson was escorted out the same door to a jail elevator.

Prosecutors alleged that Jackson shot DeSimone, 19, out of jealousy.

DeSimone was dating a 16-year-old girl who used to go out with Jackson. Jackson made attempts to regain the girl’s affection, and once told her: “I know you are going to be mine again,” according to court documents.

Public defender Natalie Tarantino didn’t address the court, but an evaluation she had done on Jackson posed another motive for the crime — bad blood between members of the two families.

Court documents say that Jackson slipped through a sliding glass door that didn’t lock properly and shot DeSimone in the head as he slept on the floor.

Neighbors saw a car similar to Jackson’s leaving the area about the time of the shooting.

In his plea papers, Jackson said he shot the former Mariner High School soccer star because DeSimone made statements he interpreted as threats to him and his family.

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