Complicated issues

After the judge received new information and a sentencing memorandum from the defense, Spencer Silva’s sentencing has been reset to April 3.


“We’ve got some complicated issues here that could potentially have a dramatic impact on your sentencing range,” said Judge Brooke Taylor.


Silva was convicted in January of first-degree attempted robbery, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and residential burglary after attacking a woman on the Olympic Discovery Trail. His original sentencing was set for Feb. 19, but was delayed due to scheduling.


Public defender John Hayden released the 14-page memo before Silva’s March 13 sentencing hearing, but prosecutors were unable to read it in time for the hearing. In the memo, Hayden argued that the charges of assault and imprisonment were incidental to Silva’s intended purpose of robbing his victim, and that by adding the charges, the prosecution unnecessarily “stacked” them to increase Silva’s punishment.


The second delay frustrated several of Silva’s supporters, who wondering how much longer Silva will have to wait before finding out how much more time he’ll have to serve. “If he gets sentenced on April 3, he will have been there two days shy of seven months,” said Ray Danks, a friend of Silva’s family. “What happens if he gets sentenced for less time than he’s been in there?”


Kimberly Barnett, Silva’s mother, said that the sentencing delays have made it difficult for victims to get closure to the issue. "I don't know them, but I care about them," she said. "We all want them to be able to move forward and have some closure and the postponement of this only delays that for them."


Barnett added that the delays only increase the tension each time they go to court. “It’s so emotional, it’s a waiting game,” she said. “You get suited up and ready and think ‘OK. This is going to be the day,’ and just before you go in you see they’ve postponed it.”


She also hopes to get Silva help to kick the methamphetamine habit that she says incited the crimes. “We’re a family that does believe that you can turn bad to good and we want to support our son and get him the help he needs.”



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