SEATTLE -- The man who killed a motorist in his line of fire as he was shooting at another man on a Seattle street was sentenced Friday to 23 years in prison.
King County prosecutors had recommended a 19-year sentence for Andrew Patterson, 21, and his lawyer had asked for a 13-year term. The standard sentencing range, including a firearm enhancement, is 15 to 23 years.
King County Superior Court Judge Michael Hayden sentenced Patterson to four more years than the prosecutors had asked. Judge Hayden had learned in court Friday that Patterson had shot Ferrari just nine days after Patterson was put under court order not to possess a gun.
Judge Hayden said that was "legally, morally and viscerally aggravating for me."
Authorities said Patterson was shooting at someone in a dispute in May of 2012 as Justin Ferrari drove through an intersection in the Central District with family members. Ferrari, 42, a software engineer, was hit in the head and died in his father’s arms in front of his children, ages 4 and 7.
Patterson was arrested after a two-month investigation in which detectives tracked him through surveillance videos, cellphone records and a confidential source.
Patterson pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder.
“Essentially this was a crazy, fluky, tragic, horrible accident. There was nothing intentional, it was just a very terrible coincidence that he was in the line of fire,” defense lawyer Aimee Sutton told The Seattle Times.
In court Friday, Ferrari's sister, Paige, faced Patterson and said, "You set off a chain reaction of pain that will be with my family and me for the rest of our lives."
Ferrari's mother also addressed her son's killer. "I can't help but believe it was your intent to use the gun to kill. Had you not been apprehended, you may have killed again," Jeani Ferrari said.
Patterson's mother, Sherry Patterson, also addressed the court. "I want to say how sorry I am. He's a good kid who made a mistake. He was brought up pretty good."
After Judge Hayden delivered his sentenced, Patterson apologized to the Ferrari family.
"I have nightmares to this day. I never did nothing like this before. I pray to God for forgiveness for what I did," Patterson said.
As he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, Patterson turned to his friends and said, "I'll get out when I'm 41. That's f***ed up, huh."