Gang member, 24, sentenced in South Lake Union club shooting
A King County judge on Friday sentenced Kevin Hubbard to 76 years in prison for a January 2012 shooting that critically injured three men outside a South Lake Union nightclub. Hubbard, a 24-year-old South Seattle gang member, was also sentenced in connection with a May 2012 shooting in Skyway.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Ignoring his lawyer’s advice not to speak, Kevin Hubbard stood before a King County Superior Court judge on Friday and claimed prosecutors and witnesses lied about him in order to pin a triple shooting on him that he insists he didn’t commit.
“First off, it’s crazy how this prosecutor accused me of stuff ... They never seen me do anything, never seen me with no weapon,” said Hubbard. “I didn’t do nothing ... I’m a man, I ain’t got no problem with nobody.
“Do you feel me?” he asked the judge.
Judge Ken Schubert, apparently, did not.
Schubert told him: “Mr. Hubbard, you and guns are a very bad combination,” later adding, “Unfortunately, what I’ve seen ... is when you’re out in society, people get shot.”
Schubert then sentenced Hubbard to just over 76 years in prison for a shooting in January 2012, outside The Citrus Lounge, as well as a shooting in May 2012 that injured a man in Skyway. In that second case, Hubbard also suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the buttocks.
After a four-week trial, a jury found Hubbard guilty of three counts of attempted first-degree murder in November for what the judge called “an almost assassin-like” attack on three men outside The Citrus Lounge, a South Lake Union nightclub.
Hubbard ambushed the men and sprayed them with “military-grade ammunition” from an assault rifle, changing his position to get a better shot when his victims cowered behind parked vehicles to find cover, Schubert said.
Two of the men would have died from their injuries if they had not received medical attention so quickly, the judge said.
In a plea deal with prosecutors, Hubbard entered Alford pleas on Friday to second-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for the Skyway shooting. While he didn’t admit guilt, he acknowledged a jury would likely find him guilty — a move that allowed him to avoid a potential third-strike offense that could have landed him in prison for life.
Not that it made much difference: While defense attorney George Sjursen had asked the judge to impose a sentence that would have seen Hubbard released from prison sometime in his 50s, the judge imposed consecutive sentences for each of the attempted-murder charges, with each charge carrying a firearms enhancement.
The Legislature has allowed for consecutive sentences for crimes that are considered a “serious violent offense,” including attempted first-degree murder, Schubert said.
Schubert sentenced Hubbard to just over seven years for the Skyway shooting. However, that sentence will run concurrent with his sentence for the Citrus shooting.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Stephen Herschkowitz told the judge Hubbard has a “track record” for violence and enjoys using guns to settle his disputes. He asked for a top-range sentence of 83 years.
Hubbard, seated at the defense table with his hands shackled to his waist, loudly swore at Herschkowitz and called him a “punk.”
“He’s an absolute danger to the community,” Herschkowitz said.
“You ain’t got (expletive) on me!” Hubbard yelled.
One woman in the gallery ran sobbing from the courtroom, and Sjursen submitted paperwork indicating Hubbard intends to appeal his conviction and sentence.
On Jan. 28, 2012, a fight erupted inside The Citrus Lounge among some of Hubbard’s friends and another group of men, who had been flashing money. As bouncers began pushing people outside, an unidentified man, believed to be a friend of the men who had been flashing cash, took a swing at Hubbard, jurors were told during closing arguments in Hubbard’s trial.
Hubbard retrieved the assault rifle from his trunk, drove his car across the street and waited for the other men to return to their vehicle in the parking lot of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, firing off at least 25 rounds.
Injured were Zealand Adams, now 28; Rommie Bone, now 30; and Daniel Wilson, now 28.
As a result of the shooting, Wilson’s right leg was amputated above the knee and Bone’s colon was removed, the jury heard.
In the Skyway shooting, Hubbard and Hailu Mandefero opened fire on JaeBrione Gary on May 1, 2012, in retaliation for an earlier incident in which Gary yanked a gold chain from Mandefero’s neck.
The jury in that case heard that Mandefero and Hubbard are South Seattle gang members who belonged to a clique known as “Money Gang Mob.”
Mandefero, now 20, is serving an 18-year prison sentence.
On Friday, Schubert said Hubbard has shown “just an extreme indifference to the lives of others.”
The judge told him: “It’s a true tragedy this has become your life.”
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org