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Originally published April 22, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Page modified April 23, 2009 at 8:40 AM

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Teen killers of "Tuba Man" sentenced to juvenile detention

Three teens who pleaded guilty to the slaying of the Seattle street musician known as the "Tuba Man" were sentenced to juvenile detention this afternoon.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Three teenagers charged with manslaughter in last year's beating death of Seattle's "Tuba Man" were sentenced this afternoon to juvenile detention.

Two teens were sentenced to a maximum of 72 weeks and a third teen received a maximum sentence of 36 weeks. The Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration will determine exactly how long each teen will serve in juvenile detention.

The teens also will receive credit for the time they've already served in detention, according to King County Juvenile Court Judge LeRoy McCullough.

The teens who received the longer sentences also pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree robbery for attacking two North Seattle teens before assaulting Ed McMichael, 53, a Seattle fixture known for playing his tuba outside sporting events.

All three teens were 15 when they descended on McMichael near Seattle Center after midnight on Oct. 25 and pummeled him.

McMichael was briefly hospitalized and then allowed to go home. He was found dead in his home Nov. 3, and an autopsy determined that he died from injuries he suffered in the attack.

McMichael likely died from a single blow to the head, according to King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. It came from a punch that knocked him down, or when his head struck the pavement after he was hit.

In announcing the teens' guilty pleas earlier this month, Satterberg said the maximum sentences they faced as juveniles were "not enough punishment."

But Satterberg said the law doesn't allow stiffer sentences for juveniles in such cases and authorities didn't have eyewitnesses that might have allowed adult charges — and longer sentences — in the case.

The Seattle Times is not naming the teenagers because their case is being handled in juvenile court. All three were Seattle high school students at the time of the attack.

According to police and court records, a group of about 10 teens assaulted and robbed two North Seattle high-school students near Seattle Center before they attacked McMichael at a bus stop near Fifth Avenue North and Mercer Street.

The mob ran when police arrived. Officers were able to arrest two suspects at the scene. They later arrested a third.

Bob Young: 206-464-2174 or byoung@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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