Teen-Ager Receives Life Sentence In Slaying Of FamilyAP , Associated Press
May. 12, 1987 9:29 PM ET
VANCOUVER, WASH. VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) _ A jury on Tuesday recommended sentence of life in prison without parole for a 16-year-old boy convicted of killing his parents and raping and killing his sister on New Year's Day.
The panel deliberated 25 minutes before returning its decision after hearing Skamania County Prosecutor Robert Leick say he had been wrong in originally seeking the death penalty for Sean Stevenson of Skamania.
Leick said he changed his mind after speaking with psychologists who indicated Stevenson suffered from severe emotional problems.
Stevenson was convicted Thursday of one count of aggravated first-degree murder in the rape and slaying of his sister, Amy Stevenson, and first-degree murder in the death of his mother, Margaret Butler, and stepfather, James Butler.
Formal sentencing will be May 29. Under Washington law, aggravated first- degree murder carries a penalty of either death or life in prison without possibility of parole.
The trial was moved from Skamania County to Clark County because of extensive pre-trial publicity.
Leick told the jury he originally sought the death penalty because Stevenson's age and ''relatively insignificant'' criminal history did not merit leniency.
''I was wrong,'' Leick said.
Though the youth was deemed sane at the time of the killings, Leick said Stevenson ''was and is severely mentally disturbed.
''I ask you respectfully to consider leniency,'' he said.