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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Woman gets 12 years in prison for stabbing 53-year-old man to death at Spokane park

Rose Sedin, right, stands next to her attorney, Kyle Madsen, during her murder sentencing Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 at the Spokane County Courthouse. A judge sentenced Sedin to 12 years in prison for killing 53-year-old James Clark during the summer of 2022 at Rochester Heights Park in Spokane.   (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

James Clark moved out of his apartment with plans to grab a tent from his storage unit before heading to Camp Hope.

The next day, July 1, 2022, the 53-year-old was found stabbed to death in the grass at Rochester Heights Park in northeast Spokane.

Rose Sedin, 32, was arrested the day after the killing. There was no known connection between Sedin and Clark, according to court documents.

On Friday, a judge sentenced Sedin to 12 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

“I’m just here to take responsibility,” she told Spokane County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fennessy.

Video surveillance from near the park showed a person, identified as Sedin, take another person, Clark, down onto the park grass in a struggle shortly before 11 a.m., police said in documents. The two were down on the ground for about eight minutes.

Sedin then got up, collected belongings and walked away from the scene as Clark remained on the grass, documents say. Another video showed Sedin with what appeared to be blood on her right hand, extending toward her elbow.

Police contacted Sedin laying in the grass at Rich Avenue and Regal Street a few hours after the killing. She was wearing the same clothing as captured on surveillance at the park.

She told police she was homeless and slept in the Hillyard parks at night. With her permission, police took photos of Sedin and entered the pictures into an evidence database.

Officers arrested Sedin the next night, July 2, in northeast Spokane. She has remained in the Spokane County Jail since the booking.

Spokane County deputy prosecutor Sharon Hedlund and Sedin’s attorney, Kyle Madsen, agreed to the 12-year sentence, which was the low end of the standard sentencing range.

Hedlund and Madsen said Sedin has mental health issues. Hedlund said those issues did not rise to the level of a defense at trial but did merit the low end of the sentencing range.

Madsen said Sedin has been the victim of horrible attacks in her past and that trauma has led to a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I think that was at play throughout her life leading up to these events,” Madsen said.

Madsen said substance abuse and a head injury from a car crash, which he said changed Sedin, contributed to the killing.

Fennessy acknowledged Sedin’s trauma, substance use and traumatic brain injury in his sentencing remarks.

He also addressed Clark’s loved ones in the room.

“I know how hard this must be to be here today and to know that Ms. Sedin’s taking of responsibility cannot do anything to bring your family member back,” Fennessy said.

Two of Sedin’s family members gave Sedin a long hug before a jail transport officer led her out of the courtroom after Friday’s proceedings. Sedin, wearing gray jail clothing and with her hands cuffed behind her back, shed tears during the embrace.

Sedin will be credited for time served and must pay a little over $3,800 in restitution. She will serve three years of community custody when she’s released from prison.