Six weeks after being convicted of murdering his friend Paul Raney, Steven Swinford will face Chelan County Superior Court Judge Lesley Allan Thursday morning at 9 AM for sentencing.
Originally scheduled for sentencing on March 2nd, the sentencing hearing was postponed after Swinford’s defense attorney Jeromy Ford filed a motion for a new trial on Feb. 27, citing prosecutorial misconduct by Chelan County Deputy Prosecutor Douglas Shae.
Judge Allan will listen to defense arguments for a retrial and will likely issue a ruling from the bench before moving on to the sentencing phase. In the unlikely event that a retrial is granted the sentencing phase would be cancelled and a new trial date would be set. However defense retrial motions are standard practice and Judge Allan would have to contradict an earlier ruling she issued during closing arguments of the murder trial in February. For his part, Prosecutor Doug Shae remains confident.
Shae prosecuted Swinford on identical charges in an October 2011 trial that ended with a hung jury. The second trial in February returned a guilty verdict after six hours’ deliberation. In both trials Swinford testified that he shot Paul in self-defense after an argument escalated to the point that he feared for his life.
The standard sentence range for an offender with a felony-free record like Swinford’s in 10 to 18 years. KOZI will be in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing on Thursday morning to bring you the latest developments as they happen. Stay tuned for updates on KOZI Radio and our website and don’t forget our facebook page. "CLICK HERE" for Audio