Young killer’s 2nd sentencing is postponed

By JIM HALEY

Herald Writer

David Dodge, who was a teen-ager in 1997 when he raped and bludgeoned to death a 12-year-old baby-sitter, will have wait a little longer to find how much time he will have to spend in prison.

On Monday, a second sentencing hearing for Dodge was postponed until next week because the victim’s family could not be reached.

His first sentence of just more than 62 years was overturned last year by the state Court of Appeals. His attorney wants much less time now.

The appeals panel ruled that Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ronald Castleberry was wrong in using some of the reasons he did to impose an exceptionally long sentence.

Dodge, who will be 21 next month, appeared in Castleberry’s court for a brief hearing Monday. Jim Townsend, chief criminal deputy prosecutor, asked the judge to postpone the matter.

Townsend said his office has attempted to locate the family of Ashley Jones, the young baby-sitter who was killed soon after Dodge walked away from a youth group home where he was serving time for a burglary.

"I believe they have a right to be here," Townsend told Castleberry.

Neal Friedman, Dodge’s attorney, objected. He said he was ready to continue with sentencing.

Castleberry, however, noted that Steve and Debra Jones were quite vocal during Dodge’s first sentencing in January 1998.

He "reluctantly" continued the hearing.

At stake for Dodge is decades behind bars.

Friedman, in a sentencing memorandum, said he believes Dodge’s sentence should be cut in half to 31 years. Townsend, on the other hand, wrote that the judge would be able to follow the appeals court’s directive and still give Dodge more than 61 years in prison.

The judge must follow the state sentencing guidelines but can still impose an exceptional sentence. The appeals court said the fact that a 4-year-old child for whom Ashley was baby-sitting witnessed part of the attack is grounds for an exceptional sentence.

Dodge, who was 17 at the time, had been assigned to a group home run on contract with the state by a group called Second Chance. The Larch Way Lodge near Lynnwood had been one of two group homes in Snohomish County for young criminals.

Both those group homes closed in the wake of controversy created by Dodge’s attack. He was considered an escapee when he assaulted the girl. Dodge later pleaded guilty.

Ashley Jones had been baby-sitting at a neighbor’s home in Stanwood when Dodge admitted entering the house through an unlocked back door and accosting her. He beat her with a stick and raped her unconscious body.

Besides closure of the two Snohomish County group homes, the case also resulted in state law changes requiring tighter controls on young criminals in community group homes.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Everett
Everett courthouse garage briefly closed for ‘suspicious package’ report

A man drove his car into the Snohomish County Courthouse garage and reported he believed the package was in his car.

High-capacity magazines at The Freedom Shoppe gun store, which was holding a sale in anticipation of new gun control measures, in New Milford, Conn., April 2, 2013. The store is liquidating their stock of weapons expected to be banned. Months after the massacre of 26 people at a school in Newtown, Conn., legislative leaders in the state on Monday announced what they called the most far-reaching gun-legislation package in the country. (Wendy Carlson/The New York Times)
WA high court leaves ban in place for now on high-capacity ammo magazines

Monday’s decision will keep the law in effect until the court hears arguments, possibly this fall, on the bill sponsored by an Edmonds senator.

Firefighters respond to a 911 call Tuesday morning in Mill Creek. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Mill Creek house fire displaces 3

Firefighters responded to a house fire in the 14100 block of 30th Avenue SE early Tuesday morning. No one was injured.

Alyvia Nguyen, 8, climbs on leaf shaped steps at the new Corcoran Memorial Park playground on Friday, July 12, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Bothell-area park ‘could not be a more fitting dedication’

In 2019, Jim Corcoran donated $1.5 million worth of land to become a public park. He died before he could see it completed.

Cars line up for the Edmonds ferry in Edmonds, Washington on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ferry line jumpers face a $145 fine — and scorn from other drivers

Law enforcement is on the lookout for line cutters. It’s a “hot-button issue that can lead to something worse.”

Mother charged in Stanwood toddler’s fentanyl overdose death

Morgan Bassett woke up in January 2022 and found her daughter wasn’t breathing. Last week, she was charged with manslaughter.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.