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Friday, July 1, 2011

Kalebu Guilty on All Counts

Posted by on Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 3:26 PM

The jury just found Isaiah Kalebu guilty of every single charge that King County prosecutors levied against him in the South Park rapes and murder.

Guilty of aggravated, premeditated murder in the first degree (for the killing of Teresa Butz). Guilty of felony murder (for the killing of Teresa Butz). Guilty of attempted premeditated murder (for the attempted murder of Butz's partner). Guilty of rape in the first degree (for the rape of Butz's partner). Guilty of burglary in the first degree (for crawling through an open window in the couple's bathroom in the early morning hours of July 19, 2009 as he prepared to attack them).

All of these crimes, the jury found, were committed with a deadly weapon and with sexual motivation or deliberate cruelty.

The survivor of the attacks was in the courtroom as the verdict was read, and cried. So did many of the jurors and much of the crowd that had gathered. Judge Michael Hayden told the jury:

It’s been a long road together. I will be the first to say, the testimony in this case was emotionally wrenching... I saw tears. I saw a lot of anguish. But you made it through the process and I want to thank you. Deeply. Thank you for having gone through it with us when most folks, when presented with the opportunity to do this, would have said, ‘I can’t do it.’

He offered them certificates of jury service, which he acknowledged, to laughs from them and the rest of the room, “don’t mean much.” He offered them counseling, which they later declined through the bailiff. They also declined, through the bailiff, the opportunity to talk with members of the media. Their job was done. They just wanted to go home.

As for Kalebu's sentence: It will officially come later, but it's basically known right now. In Washington State, a conviction for first degree premeditated murder comes with a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Comments (51) RSS

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Posted by Jez on July 1, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Good. May that motherfucker rot in hell.

Thank you for all the excellent reporting, Eli.
Posted by kerri harrop on July 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM · Report this
Hawke 3
Good. They got it right.
Posted by Hawke on July 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM · Report this
shuvoff 4
So, he wasn't charged or convicted of raping Teresa Butz?
Posted by shuvoff on July 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM · Report this
Let him rot.
Posted by Brooklyngirl on July 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM · Report this
Zebes 6
Put him away, put him away, put him away.
Posted by Zebes on July 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Vince 7
Posted by Vince on July 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
thank god (or whatever diety or non-diety you care to thank).
Posted by milleribsen on July 1, 2011 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Delishuss 9
Thank goodness. Literally.
Posted by Delishuss on July 1, 2011 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Roma 10
Way to go jury! Nice to see that the defense wasn't able to bamboozle them with bullshit. Put the garbage in prison and make sure it stays there.
Posted by Roma on July 1, 2011 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Delishuss 11
Also, I second #2. I've been reading your coverage from Chicago, Eli, and you've done an excellent job. I almost started crying when I read the headline.
Posted by Delishuss on July 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM · Report this
So how many appeals does he get?
Posted by tiktok on July 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 13
Thanks for the coverage Eli.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on July 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Njoy 14
I will be haunted by the images this reporting has left me for the rest of my life. Hopefully, if nothing else, I will be a better person for it. Hold my loved ones a little tighter, fight for peace when I can. Excellent work Eli. Truly, deeply affecting writing.
Posted by Njoy on July 1, 2011 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 15
@12, oh, it'll drag on for years and years.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on July 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Whew. Thanks to the prosecutors for working so carefully and hard, to the defense for doing their best, to Hayden for keeping it fair, to the witnesses for their bravery. Thanks especially to the jury, ordinary citizens like any of us, asked out of the blue to bear such a huge responsibility throughout the whole process . And to Eli, thanks for watching their work so closely and describing it for us so well.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 17
thank you eli for being there and bearing witness. and as i wish for the family, friends, and community at large i wish you peace and healing .
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on July 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 18

Since Butz couldn't testify as to the lack of consent (because the motherfucker murdered her), I'm assuming the prosecutor didn't bother charging Kalebu with her rape.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM · Report this
alithea 19
thank you eli for your excellent coverage of this.
Posted by alithea on July 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Thank you jury.

Thank you Eli.
Posted by The mayor on July 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM · Report this
@18 But charging, say, a serial killer with rape and murder isn't unusual. And unlike a typical rape/murder, there's a witness who could testify that the deceased didn't consent. But perhaps it might have opened the tiniest door for reasonable doubt, and the prosecutor felt whatever additional sentence imposed for the charge wouldn't be worth that?
Posted by geekgirl on July 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM · Report this
I couldn't be wrong, but I don't think they can charge him with rape if the felony murder is based on the fact that she was killed during the commission of the rape.
Posted by Gidge on July 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Report this
procupcake 23
May his be a long life and may he come to know the true cost of the suffering he caused.
Posted by procupcake on July 1, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Also, I think that it was aggravated first degree murder (as opposed to just first degree murder, which doesn't carry mandatory life w/out parole) because of the rape. I think double jeaopardy prevents charging aggravated murder and the rape.
Posted by Gidge on July 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM · Report this
@15: there are a whole bunch of potentially appealable issues, but it is also quite possible that Kalebu will refuse to file an appeal. It is his decision, not his defense team's to make and he's been in constant conflict with them from the very beginning -- most notably, not allowing them to put forward an insanity defense, and then taking the stand to testify. Maybe it was all some kind of intricate trial strategy to set up an appeal, but I doubt it.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on July 1, 2011 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Eli, it's clear from your passionate reporting that this tore a chunk right out of your heart, too. Thanks so much for your outstanding, compassionate and intuitive take. Your talents are deeply appreciated.

P.S. Yes, write the book...
Posted by Cloudwatcher on July 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 27
Life in prison is a light sentence for what he did.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on July 1, 2011 at 4:35 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 28
@22 and 24,

Yeah, actually, I think I have heard that before. Thanks for the clarification.
Posted by keshmeshi on July 1, 2011 at 4:38 PM · Report this
@22 Yeah I think the merger doctrine would apply. The rape is part of the felony murder. The jury may have had the option of convicting him of rape alone.
Posted by giffy on July 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM · Report this
starsandgarters 30
Hear hear. Thank you jury and Eli for exhaustive work.

(Declined counseling? Shit, I would be on that like white on rice.)
Posted by starsandgarters on July 1, 2011 at 4:57 PM · Report this
merry 31
What 16 & 17 said. Bigtime.

I am thankful and grateful that the verdict came in the way it did, but I must admit - it's just too damn bad the fucker's mentally ill, because that precludes us, as a civilized society, of rendering capital justice. Which is the justice that would be most fitting for this man's crimes, IMO.

Didn't he also burn down his aunt's house, killing someone inside?
Posted by merry on July 1, 2011 at 5:05 PM · Report this
He did burn down his aunt's house and she died but evidently not enough evidence to even charge him.
Posted by kerala on July 1, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
@31 Would you say the same thing if someone had a seizure while driving and killed someone?

Without a doubt he needs to be taken out of society and confined for the rest of his life. Illness or no he is a threat to others. However I think that we can do that without exacting pointless revenge on a person not in control of their actions.
Posted by giffy on July 1, 2011 at 5:14 PM · Report this
merry 34
@ 33 - Not gonna engage in the capital punishment debate at this time, thank you.

I expressed my opinion. That's what IMO means.
Posted by merry on July 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM · Report this
merry 35
Also, giffy, if you carefully read what I wrote, I did say that the mental illness is what precludes us from killing him. I agree, we can't execute the mentally ill and remain a civilized society.

Posted by merry on July 1, 2011 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Roma 36
In Washington State, a conviction for first degree premeditated murder comes with a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

I hope that means: Yes, we're serious. Not even the possibility of parole. We will make absolutely certain that it remains away from the rest of society until it dies.
Posted by Roma on July 1, 2011 at 5:37 PM · Report this
TVDinner 37
I hope he drops the soap in prison. Repeatedly.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on July 1, 2011 at 5:48 PM · Report this

Personally, I hope he dies of a brain embolism or something similar as soon as possible, because I honestly don't want to pay to keep this piece of human garbage alive any longer than is absolutely necessary.
Posted by COMTE on July 1, 2011 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Thanks, Eli, and thank all the forces of good that the jury came down on the right side here.

I hope there are some substantial mental health days in your future....
Posted by Lo on July 1, 2011 at 6:55 PM · Report this
venomlash 41
Good. He deserves a life of monotony waking and nightmares sleeping.
Posted by venomlash on July 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM · Report this
It's good to see justice done, and all of Seattle can breathe a sigh of relief. He is manifestly dangerous and putting him away for life makes everyone that much safer.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on July 1, 2011 at 10:27 PM · Report this
And the Typical Seattle Mindset dies naked, bleeding & dead in the street. Everybody rants about the death penalty. Seattle "breathes a sigh of relief". Please!. Kalebu Is Legion. He walked the same streets as Jesus Mezquia, Gary Ridgway,Ted Bundy,Kenneth Bianchi...& dozens more. I ran into a couple Walla Walla parolees the day Charles Campbell, Your Death Penalty Posterboy, was hung, & they remarked "he was an asshole inside, too". I cringed when the victim testified "We did everything he told us to do & he still stabbed us!" They're the killers & you're the prey. Darwin has entered your home. Read Gavin de Becker & Sanford Strong-they will save your lives. Every hope Teresa & her partner had was been destroyed & you're all toothlessly rooting for prison rape. What progress has the LBGT community made when a lesbian is stalked & stabbed viciously to death by an implacable AA rapist in the middle of the night in one of the most progressive cities in the world-or have you all forgotten Kitty Genovese?
Posted by MsMikosz on July 2, 2011 at 2:47 AM · Report this
Karlheinz Arschbomber 44
And this is different -how- from cops invading homes ( warrant optional ) and killing the occupants just because? Only difference is there's no trial in those frequent cases. Just the sound of a vacuum cleaner hiding the mess. Noun! Verb! Nine-Eleven!
Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber on July 2, 2011 at 3:26 AM · Report this
Delishuss 45
@44 Use a different forum to try and score political points. There is absolutely a difference between a man who spends hours raping, torturing, and killing two women, and an unwarranted home invasion by the cops. Being deliberately obtuse and downplaying what Kalebu did to make a political argument about police accountability diminishes your own message.
Posted by Delishuss on July 2, 2011 at 5:52 AM · Report this
@38: Amen! Beings like this really deserve a "life" in Purgatory, and NOT on our dime.

Just sayin'
Posted by SoKingGirl on July 2, 2011 at 8:45 AM · Report this
46 & 48: No one on the thread has done any of the imaginary things you accuse them of, so...

The only conclusion: You suffer from that particular projection imagination of regressives.
Posted by judybrowni on July 2, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Ho hum. One of 15,000 murders in this country every year. They jailed one of murders, that's good.
Posted by fetish on July 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM · Report this
This case has haunted me. I hope he never has the chance to hurt anyone else or terrorize our community ever again. May life without the possibility of parole mean just that, and that every appeal fail and the judgement not be set aside because of some technicality.

Mentally ill, lacking in impulse control and without empathy there is no other place Kalebu should be besides death or a cell.
Posted by Nuncia on July 2, 2011 at 2:03 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 55
I have to confess that reading Eli's articles about the trial and the testimony of the rapes and murders has made me unhealthily obsessed with protecting myself and my partner. This one might be put away, but there are rapes and murders everyday since this one and more to come.

I wish I knew what to do to help stop it.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\ on July 5, 2011 at 9:07 AM · Report this
Geni 56
Somebody give the guy a pencil.
Posted by Geni on July 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Erin Daisy 57
Actually, you guys, it says in the report that he WAS convicted of first degree rape. It's the second to last conviction listed in the series. And thanks for the awesome work covering this, Eli. I have been following yr reporting from Milwaukee.
Posted by Erin Daisy on July 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM · Report this

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