After listening to Tobias Stackhouse insist he’s no murderer, a Spokane County judge on Thursday sent him to prison for 30 years.
“Although you still profess your innocence, a jury has found otherwise,” Superior Court Judge Robert Austin said.
He imposed the high end of the standard sentencing range for first-degree murder and ordered it be served after he completes a 23-year sentence for another killing in Elk, Wash.
Defense attorney Greg Sypolt had asked that the sentences be concurrent, which would have shaved off more than 20 years of prison time.
Stackhouse, 19, shook his head at Austin’s decision.
“I am not a murderer,” he told the judge. “I am not a violent person. It’s not me.”
Last month Stackhouse was found guilty of killing Linda Guillen, a 22-year-old prostitute, near Playfair Race Course on Dec. 1, 1994. His accomplice, Jason Kukrall, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in that killing.
During his trial, Stackhouse said he gave a false confession in January 1995 to protect the 22-year-old Kukrall. At the time, he said, he thought he could take the rap for his adult friend and escape serious punishment because he was still 17.
Kukrall admitted being present, but said he didn’t participate when Stackhouse beat and kicked Guillen, slashed her throat and stabbed her 19 times.
Both men shot at Elk resident Steve Roscoe on Jan. 11, 1995, when he caught them burglarizing his home. One of Kukrall’s bullets pierced Roscoe’s heart. Kukrall was sentenced to 26 years in prison for that murder.
Stackhouse said Thursday he’s “doing time for Jason’s mistakes.”
“I have no use for prostitutes,” he told the judge. “If I want to have sex, I have people I can go have sex with.”
Guillen’s relatives were outraged by Stackhouse’s statements. Her mother, Loretta Luna, begged Austin to show her daughter respect, even though “her life was not perfect.”
Then she turned to Stackhouse in disgust.
“When you were kicking my daughter’s face in, when you were slashing her throat, when you were sawing through her neck, you were a man,” Luna said. “So now you need to take the consequences as a man.”
Austin compared Guillen’s senseless killing to another murder trial that took place about the same time as Stackhouse’s, just across the hall from his courtroom.
The victim in that case, another 22-year-old named Felicia Reese, was a “church-going lady” whom everyone believed was good and kind, Austin said.
“Linda Guillen was not a church-going lady. She did not have that kind of lifestyle. She was a prostitute,” Austin said. “But what the victim’s background was should have no bearing. She was a victim.”
Guillen’s mother nodded her head and clutched the velvet bag she had waved at Stackhouse earlier.
“This is what’s left of my daughter,” Luna said. “A little bag that held her ashes.”