Camano killer sentenced to 21 years in prison

The 58-year-old Camano Island woman convicted of murdering her housemate by hitting him over the head and then shooting him five times in 1997 was sentenced in Island County Superior Court Tuesday.

Judge Alan Hancock handed Linda Miley a 21-year sentence for the second-degree murder of Jack Pearson.

In rendering the verdict, Hancock said he was “mindful” of Miley’s attempts to cover up the crime, her false accusations of self defense and a rape attempt, and the fact that she hasn’t admitted her guilt.

“Miss Miley has not taken responsibility for what she did,” he said, “and in her statements this morning she continues to lay blame on others and the circumstances for her crime.”

Island County Prosector Greg Banks asked for a top-of-the-range sentence of 23 years and four months. Miley faced from 15 years and three months to 23 years and four months.

Miley, who had been living with Pearson at his Camano home for six years, apparently became upset with the 67-year-old man after he told her the relationship was over and asked her to leave. She hit him on the head with a blunt object, then went to get a gun and shot him five times in the torso.

A jury found Miley guilty of second-degree murder in a complicated three-week trial last November. The jury, however, did not convict her of the more serious charge of first-degree murder or a first-degree theft charge after deliberating for three days.

Miley’s attorney, Tom Pacher of Coupeville, argued that Miley had a mental disorder and did not have the capacity to form the intent necessary to commit premeditated murder. He put a doctor on the stand who testified Miley was suffering from a dissociative disorder at the time of the murder.

Miley also took the stand in her defense and claimed that Pearson tried to rape her and that she acted in self defense.

During the sentencing hearing, Pearson’s son — William Pearson — said Miley “smeared” his father by making the accusation of rape.

“Her testifying about the rape was so out of character for him,” Pearson said. “It was an outright lie. She not only murdered him, she smeared his name.”

In her own defense, Miley gave a lengthy statement during the sentencing hearing. Instead of pleading for a light sentence, she asked for another hearing to prove her innocence.

“There was a lot of evidence that was very important that the jury never heard,” she said.

Miley said she doesn’t remember what happened that night, but believes that the evidence doesn’t point to her guilt. She claimed that Island County Detective Bob Clark tricked her into admitting guilt while she was medicated. She said her attorney didn’t present evidence that she wanted him to.

“I loved Jack,” she said, “and when he died a big part of me died.”

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