News

Woman's accused killer won't face death penalty

By ERICA JAHN

Staff writer

King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng has decided not to seek the death penalty against a man accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend to death with a shotgun in her Federal Way apartment last August.

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, didn’t elaborate on Maleng’s decision, but he said prosecutors don’t believe there is enough evidence to show Maleng shouldn’t be lenient with Richard SaintCalle, 36.

According to state law, if there aren’t enough mitigating circumstances to merit leniency in sentencing someone convicted of aggravated murder, the sentence shall be death. Factors to consider in determining leniency include:

• Criminal history.

• Whether the murder was committed while the defendant was under the influence of an extreme mental disturbance.

• If the victim consented to the murder.

• Whether the defendant played a minor role as an accomplice to the murder;

• Whether the defendant’s ability to understand the wrongfulness of the action was impaired as a result of mental disease or defect.

• The age of the defendant.

• Whether the defendant will pose a threat to others in the future.

Life in prison without parole is the only other sentencing option for someone convicted of aggravated murder.

SaintCalle remains in custody at the Regional Justice Center in Kent on $2 million bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for March 24.

According to charging papers, SaintCalle and his ex-girlfriend, Keymhare Germain, 32, had been arguing all day Aug. 15 at her Rainier Meadows apartment in Federal Way. Late that night, she told him she was engaged.

SaintCalle allegedly became enraged and left the apartment to call her fiancé. When he confirmed the two were engaged, he retrieved a shotgun from his car, authorities said, and shot his way through her front door, which she’d locked.

Germain’s and SaintCalle’s teenage son told police he was in the parking lot of the apartment complex that night when SaintCalle told him and his friends to leave the area if they valued their lives, according to charging papers.

Germain died in her apartment from gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Her 13-year-old daughter was taken to Harborview Medical Center for emergency surgery to treat shotgun wounds to her chest and arm.

SaintCalle fled after the shooting, but a King County Sheriff deputy later found him parked near the home of another woman who had a restraining order against him, police said. He sped away when the deputy turned on his patrol car’s flashing lights, and a brief pursuit ensued. It ended when another deputy’s car hit SaintCalle’s vehicle.

Staff writer Erica Jahn: 925-5565, ejahn@fedwaymirror.com

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