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Cop slayer gets 34-year sentence

The Mirror

The man convicted of killing a Des Moines Police officer in March 2001 has been sentenced to 34 years in prison.

King County Superior Court Judge Anthony Wartnik issued the sentence last Wednesday to Charles Champion, 22. It’s the maximum penalty under a plea-bargain that was reached between Champion and Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng, who declined seeking the death penalty.

Champion pleaded guilty last November to first-degree murder in the death of Steven Underwood. The policeman was 33 when he was shot on Pacific Highway South nearly four years ago.

Underwood was on patrol when he saw Champion –– then 18 and wanted by authorities on suspicion of assault, robbery and domestic violence –– walking on Pacific. The officer was trying to detain Champion when he was shot. Champion was arrested 12 hours later.

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