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Brian Bassett sentenced reduced from life without parole to 60 years

-Originally Posted June 7, 2019-

Montesano, WA – Brian Bassett had his sentence reduced at a hearing this week, but is not set to be released any time soon.

Sixteen-year-old Brian Bassett is led by deputies to a Grays Harbor County Courtroom in Montesano, Wash., Friday, March 22, 1996, to hear the verdict in his trial for the murder of his parents and 5-year-old brother. Bassett was found guilty on three counts of aggravated first degree murder for the August, 1995 slayings. (AP Photo/Louie Balukoff)
LOUIE BALUKOFF — AP

In 1995, Bassett, along with Nicholaus McDonald, was convicted as a 16 year old in the murder of his parents Michael and Wendy Bassett and his 5 year old brother Austin.

In June 2012 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the eighth amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment forbids sentencing that mandates life in prison without the possibility of parole for juveniles.

Brian Basset in 2012 (DOC)

In March 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5064, which dealt with anyone sentenced to a life sentence as a juvenile.

Grays Harbor County Judge David Edwards tells KXRO that the Washington State Supreme Court then ruled that a juvenile offender could not be sentenced to life without parole under any circumstances, saying that is was categorically unconstitutional.

Edwards said the direction he received from the supreme court was that Basset could not be sentenced to life in prison, either with or without parole.

As of June 1, youth convictions must be re-evaluated. This includes the conviction for McDonald.

Judge Edwards tells KXRO that at a hearing yesterday in Montesano, he re-sentenced Bassett from life in prison without the possibility of parole to a sentence of 60 years, allowing for his release when he is in his 70s.


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