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Grays Harbor County man resentenced for 1995 killing of family

A man who was convicted of killing his parents and brother when he was 16 in 1995 was resentenced in Grays Harbor County court Thursday.

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, Wash. — Brian Bassett, who was convicted of killing his parents and brother when he was 16 in 1995, was resentenced in Grays Harbor County court Thursday after a lengthy plea for his release.

Bassett has been in and out of a Grays Harbor County courtroom since 2019 pleading for his release from prison. On Thursday, Bassett was resentenced to one more year in prison.

Bassett was just 16 years old when he was convicted of killing his parents and his 5-year-old brother in their McCleary home in 1995. Bassett was originally sentenced to life in prison for the murders.

In 2019, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled life sentences for teenagers were “cruel” and thus unconstitutional. Since then, he's had two sentence hearings.

During the first hearing in 2019, Bassett was re-sentenced to 60 additional years in prison. However, an appeals court overturned that ruling deeming it excessive.

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The second hearing was earlier in August when Bassett’s attorney argued prison rehabilitation had worked and called for his release. Bassett's attorneys made a case for his release, arguing he's served "65 percent" of his life sentence. His defense called a clinical psychologist and a college professor who worked with Bassett and helped make a case for his rehabilitation.

Bassett himself also took the stand earlier this month asking for forgiveness.

The state, however, is still calling for 40 years. A move backed by his sister, Stephanie Bassett, as the only surviving family member. Stephanie Bassett said she fears she would have been killed too had she been home at the time of the 1995 murders.

"I ask the court for myself, for my family, especially for my children, or my parents or Austin that every day that he's behind bars I can breathe, I can feel safe and I can live because I don't have a doubt that a target is on my back," Stephanie Bassett said while on the stand Aug. 4.

Prosecuting Attorney Jason Walker said on Thursday that she is still terrified of the thought that he could be released soon.

"She still believes, based on some pretty powerful things that happened to her that she's next. That when he gets out, he's going to go after her," Walker said.

Bassett's attorney said Thursday that he will continue to regret his actions for the rest of his life, even if he was released from prison.

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