October 12, 2013 in City

Seattle stray-bullet killing results in 23-year sentence

Associated Press

SEATTLE – The man who killed a motorist in his line of fire as he was shooting at another man on a Seattle street was sentenced Friday to 23 years in prison.

King County prosecutors had recommended a 19-year sentence for Andrew Patterson, 21, and his lawyer had asked for a 13-year term. The standard sentencing range, including a firearm enhancement, is 15 to 23 years.

Patterson pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder.

Authorities said Patterson was shooting at someone in a dispute in May 2012 as Justin Ferrari drove through an intersection in the Central District with family members. Ferrari, 42, a software engineer, was hit in the head and died in his father’s arms in front of his children, ages 4 and 7.

Patterson was arrested after a two-month investigation in which detectives tracked him through surveillance videos, cellphone records and a confidential source.

“Essentially, this was a crazy, fluky, tragic, horrible accident. There was nothing intentional, it was just a very terrible coincidence that he was in the line of fire,” defense lawyer Aimee Sutton told the Seattle Times.

Ferrari’s widow, Maggie Hooks, requested and received an unusual meeting with her husband’s killer in August. It was prompted by a Florida family’s meeting with a man who killed their daughter, the Times said.

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