Brian Bassett  released from prison

KXRO was notified by VINE (Victim Information & Notification) on Thursday that Brian Bassett was being placed on unsupervised custody status.

The Department of Corrections confirmed to KXRO that Bassett was released from the Monroe Corrections Center into Community Custody on Thursday.  

Nearly 28 years have passed since August 11, 1995, when Bassett and then-boyfriend Nicholaus McDonald committed the murders of his parents Michael and Wendy Bassett, and his 5-year-old brother Austin. 

In August 2022, Thurston County Judge Sharonda Amamilo issued a new sentence to Bassett, as required based on the so-called “Miller Fix” following the Miller v. Alabama case. 

That Miller case mandated a change within state law that in setting a minimum term, the court must take into account mitigating factors that account for the diminished culpability of youth. 

This includes but is not limited to, the age of the individual, the youth’s childhood and life experience, the degree of responsibility the youth was capable of exercising, and the youth’s chances of becoming rehabilitated.

Basset was originally sentenced in April 1996 to three life prison terms without parole.

Judge Amamilo stated that any resentencing decision made must be “forward-looking” and allow for rehabilitation.

The Judge noted that based on testimony and Department of Corrections documentation, Bassett has since recognized his actions and expressed regret in the 25-plus years since the crime was committed.

In resentencing discussions for Bassett, the state had asked 38 years for Counts 1 and 2 in the murder of his parents, and 40 years for Count 3 related to the murder of Austin, all to run concurrently.

The defense had asked for three concurrent 25-year sentences.

Judge Amamilo said in her judgment that the crime was “unimaginable” and that she understood the struggles of the prior court when imposing sentencing and resentencing, as she too struggled with her decision based on the crime.

At that sentencing, Judge Amamilo resentenced Bassett to 25 years on counts 1 & 2, to run concurrently with 28 years for count 3.

Given Bassett had already served 26 years for the crimes, that meant his release was imminent.

Judge Amamilo shared during her verdict that it was her opinion that “The Bassett Family, McCleary, and the Grays Harbor County community at large need to know that Mr. Bassett is not likely to be a threat to anyone when released.”

DOC officials told KXRO this week that Bassett is scheduled to be living in the community, but will have a three-year supervisory period that is scheduled to end on 1/3/2027.

A mandated anti-harassment and lifetime no-contact order against his sister is in place, according to the court.