Woman sentenced for role in shootings

A judge Thursday said it’s “disturbing” that he can’t sentence an Everett woman to as much time in prison as one of her co-defendants.

Still, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman disregarded the prosecutor’s recommendation and went to the top of the sentencing range. He imposed a nearly three-year term for Diana M. Boyd, 39, who pleaded guilty to two counts of drive-by shooting.

The law, and a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision banning exceptionally long sentences in Washington, tied his hands, McKeeman said. He conceded Boyd “lost all track of boundaries between an adult and child.”

Boyd had been driving a car in December when two teenagers went on a shooting rampage from the vehicle, striking several homes and nearly hitting a 90-year-old woman. The teens went on a second shooting rampage in November.

Most of the discussion at the sentencing hearing focused on Boyd and her relationship with two co-defendants, both teenagers. Relatives and lawyers complained about the disproportionate sentences. One teen got more than seven years in prison.

“Don’t you see, all this is influenced by this woman,” Everett lawyer Pete Mazzone said while arguing for his client, Byron August Ross, 18, of Everett.

Ross got the seven-year term, and Colby Rider, 18, also of Everett, was sentenced to a little more than two years behind bars. Ross pleaded guilty to seven counts of drive-by shooting and Rider admitted one count of drive-by shooting and one count of a burglary he said Boyd helped plan.

Ross’ parents told the judge that Boyd got involved romantically with her son, bought him alcohol, set him up in an apartment and bought him a cellphone when his was taken away.

In December, Boyd paid for part of the cost of the rifle the teens used to shoot at houses, and then did nothing to stop them when they started shooting from her car.

“I hold her totally accountable for the things she has done,” said Ross’ mother, Janelle Carpenter. “She continued to destroy all our lives.”

Mazzone told McKeeman he knows that well-intentioned laws are messed up, and Boyd should receive as much time as Ross.

“In the interest of justice, judge, you should give him less time,” Mazzone said.

Max Harrison, Boyd’s lawyer, conceded his client acted “almost as if she were terrified she would lose the affection of someone she loved. She couldn’t bring herself to supervise the behavior of her co-defendants.”

Deputy prosecutor Paul Stern told the judge that Rider accepted responsibility and agreed to cooperate with police early, so he got the best deal. The state didn’t have a case against Boyd until after Rider pleaded guilty. He and Ross gave police information that led to charges against her.

Since he got the case in January, Stern said he was bent on holding Boyd responsible “for grossly inappropriate behavior.”

Stern said he considers this an offensive crime, “striking at the very core of why these victims came to live here in the first place.” The 87 months Ross got is “a pretty good deal for what he did.”

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or haley@heraldnet.com.

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