Killer in mail-order bride strangling wants to withdraw plea
A man who admitted strangling a mail-order bride from Kyrgyzstan at her husband's request — and with his help — wants to withdraw his plea...
The Associated Press
EVERETT, Wash. – A man who admitted strangling a mail-order bride from Kyrgyzstan at her husband's request — and with his help — wants to withdraw his plea to second-degree murder in the case.
Prosecutors have already charged Daniel Kristopher Larson with first-degree murder, contending he did not hold up his end of the plea deal. His trial on the more serious charge is scheduled for January in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Larson, 26, admitted strangling 20-year-old Anastasia King with her husband's necktie in September 2000. Under the plea deal, he agreed to testify against the victim's husband, Indle King Jr., who was convicted in her death and sentenced to about 29 years in prison.
Larson told a jury how the obese King sat on his wife while Larson strangled her.
But then he sought to withdraw his plea. Larson was in court again Friday, again requesting to withdraw the guilty plea.
"Everything is riding on this, your honor," he told Superior Court Judge Thomas Wynne.
Larson hopes to withdraw his plea, win an acquittal at his January trial and go free. Wynne said he won't rule until after the trial.
"It's risky for him to do this because he could be convicted of the more serious offense," said Larson's Everett attorney, Karen Halverson.
Larson was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2002 for his role in Anastasia King's death. He could be sentenced to as much as 32 years if he's convicted of first-degree murder.
"He would not be here on a murder-one charge if it were not for the fact that he tried to withdraw his plea on murder-two," Deputy Prosecutor Janice Albert told the judge Friday.
Halverson said Larson did not fully understand what he was doing when he pleaded guilty. He thought the prosecution would recommend a much lower sentence, she said.
She also said she will try to keep Larson's testimony at Indle King's trial out of the January trial. Albert is expected to press for allowing jurors to hear that testimony.
The first-degree murder charge was filed in 2005, after the state Court of Appeals ruled that Larson had violated the plea agreement and the state was thus free to prosecute him. The appeals court also ruled that the second-degree murder conviction could stand regardless.
Larson has also asked the Court of Appeals to approve withdrawal of his guilty plea. That court also is waiting for the outcome of the January trial.
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