Sunday, November 18, 2007

Driver Who Killed Officer Sentenced

Officer's life honored as killer gets 20 years. Mary Jane Rivas had a long record of misdemeanor and felony convictions for various offenses when she plowed into Officer Joselito Barber's patrol car at 23rd and Yesler at 80 miles per hour.

Rivas, 32, had pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and possession of cocaine, and also agreed that she should serve an exceptionally long prison term.

In imposing the sentence, Superior Court Judge Harry McCarthy added a five-year 'special enhancement' to Rivas' sentence based on her recent release from prison before the accident. Only 10 days earlier Rivas had been released from prison for possession of cocaine.

Rivas was one of three former prison inmates who, while under the state's version of probation, were involved in incidents that resulted in the deaths of three Seattle-area law enforcement officers in 2006. The incidents prompted Gov. Christine Gregoire to order the state Department of Corrections to review its conditional-release policies.
Judge Harry McCarthy is also a UW Trial Ad instructor.

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