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Shooter charged in Blanchet High School student’s death

Court sentences killer to a 90-year sentence

Grace Harmon, Staff Reporter
Originally published April 21, 2015

For nearly two years, the loss of Molly Conley, a promising young student from Blanchet High School, has been mourned by students, peers and families alike. Conley, who was killed in a series of drive by shootings on June 1, 2013, received justice Tuesday morning.

According to the Seattle Times, Snohomish County Superior Court announced the sentence of Erick N. Walker, who was found guilty last month of manslaughter, five counts of drive-by shooting, and four charges of assault for his shooting rampage around Marysville and Lake Stevens last June.

Walker, 28, will serve a sentence of 90 years and 9 months. He was identified by the match of bullets fired during the shootings to a gun found in his home, and through the paint on his car matching that of another vehicle hit at the scene.

The defense noted that the bullet that killed Conley, who was walking around Lake Stevens with friends celebrating her 15th birthday, was never found.

Prosecutors requested a first-degree-murder conviction, as they claimed Walker’s shooting had shown an “extreme indifference to human life,” according to an article by the HeraldNet. This charge was rejected, after days of discussion. The verdict was called “a miscarriage of justice” by the victim’s father, John Conley.

Walker’s attorney had requested a 70-year sentence, and claims he will continue to fight for it. Judge Thomas Wynne stated that the court considered Walker to be a “terrorist,” and intended for him to “serve the rest of [his] life in prison,” according to Kiro TV.

The case has brought little closure to Conley’s family. “None of this stuff closes anything. I’ve sat in on some of these sentencing hearings and you hear the judge say ‘we hope we’ve brought you some comfort.’ It’s none of that. It’s just another step in the journey,” John Conley said, according to an article on mynorthwest.com.

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Shooter charged in Blanchet High School student’s death