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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Student’s killer says he’s a changed man

Asks board to shorten sentence

May 13, 2015 Updated Wed., May 13, 2015 at 2:20 p.m.

SHELTON, Wash. — The man who gunned down a Spokane law school student delivering a pizza during an aborted robbery attempt nearly 23 years ago said Wednesday he’s changed enough to get out of prison early. Daniel Delgado said he’s no longer a fearful teen trying to project an image of a tough gang member on the streets of West Central Spokane and would like a chance to “give back to the community rather than just keep taking.” He asked a state board to shorten the sentence he accepted in a 1993 plea-bargain and let him out of prison early for the murder of Mike Maykowskyj, whom Delgado shot after calling for a delivery to a darkened home in hopes of stealing his cash. “I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but if I turned back, what would other people think of me?” he told the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board Wednesday morning at a hearing at the Washington Correctional Center in Shelton, Washington. He pulled the trigger on a stolen sawed-off shotgun without saying a word after Maykowskyj got out of his car, Delgado said. He and his two accomplices fled and didn’t even take the money. “I was completely responsible for everything that happened that night,” Delgado said “I wanted to build a reputation… so I could gain the respect that I wanted at that time.” Delgado was a few months shy of his 18th birthday when he murdered Maykowskyj, a Gonzaga law student with a fiancée and a 2½-year-old daughter who was working several summer jobs including a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman. Although he was charged as an adult and had turned 18 before sentencing, because Delgado was a juvenile when he committed the crime, he’s eligible to have his 450-month prison term reviewed by the board, and possibly be released. That’s a result of a new state law prompted by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that inmates sentenced for murder as juveniles must be considered for release after serving 20 years. Last month the Maykowskyj family, including Mike’s daughter who is now expecting her first child, urged the board to turn the request down. Delgado got a break in 1993 with a plea bargain and should serve out the term he agreed to, they said. Originally charged with first-degree aggravated murder and facing a possible death penalty, Delgado pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for the 37-year sentence. In a jailhouse interview with The Spokesman-Review before his guilty plea, he said he felt no more remorse over killing Maykowskyj than he would for stepping on a bug on the sidewalk or shooting a deer while hunting. On Wednesday, Delgado acknowledged he said those things, but insisted they were for an image he was trying to project: “It was so I could further that persona that would precede me all the way to the penitentiary… .In my heart, I don’t truly feel that. I thought that was what people respected.” In prison, Delgado went from a gang-wannabe to a full-fledged member of a prison gang, the Sureños, and has 37 infractions in his file, with 35 of them classified as serious. He said his most recent serious infraction, in 2011, was from a fist fight after he decided to leave the gang and “live my life through trust and courage.” But he has not gone through a gang “debriefing” program with prison officials, saying that to go into protective custody after providing that information would be the easy way out. But he insisted he’s a changed man who isn’t so self-centered and no longer feels “the world owed me something and I didn’t have to work for it.” If he is released early, Delgado said he would live with his mother in Colfax, where he has a job offer and could walk to the corrections office that will monitor him for the length of his original sentence. Asked for specific examples of how he’s changed, he replied: “I’m no longer OK with making decisions based on what I fear.” He said he can now look inside himself and take responsibility for the people he’s hurt, starting with the Maykowskyj family: “I would like to say ‘I’m sorry’ to the family, if there’s any of them here.” Marc Nordean, who is married to Mike Maykowksyj’s sister Marne, attended the hearing as an observer and was skeptical of Delgado’s professed contrition. The family has never received a letter or any other communication from Delgado that offered an apology, and nothing the inmate said in the hearing was likely to change the family’s belief he should serve out his full term, Nordean said. Delgado seemed very controlled and rehearsed in his presentation, said Dave Freeburg, the family’s attorney who also attended the hearing. Whether that’s because he practiced so much for a hearing important to his future or was he just telling the board members what he thought they wanted to hear couldn’t be determined, Freeburg said. “I don’t envy the board their decision,” he said. Lynne DeLano, the board chairwoman, said it would make a decision on his request in eight to 12 weeks. Delgado’s case is among the first under consideration from the new law. There are six other requests pending and none have been decided yet. The key factor, she said, is whether the board concludes Delgado is unlikely to commit another crime.
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