Curtis Thompson, a convicted sex predator already facing multiple life sentences, received another life sentence today for murdering a Seattle woman in 2004.
Curtis Thompson, a convicted rapist who already faced consecutive life sentences for a series of violent crimes, received another one Wednesday morning for killing a Seattle woman in 2004.
In a sexually motivated attack, Thompson, 49, broke into Deborah Byars’ apartment in the Sand Point neighborhood and stabbed the 45-year-old woman to death. He was found guilty of first-degree murder last month.
The slaying was the third in a string of violent attacks in his 2004 crime spree.
About a week before Byars’ slaying, Thompson broke into an Eastlake apartment and raped a woman and then poured bleach on her body in an attempt to hide DNA evidence. He was also convicted of assaulting two women in a University District apartment complex around the same time. He earlier received life sentences for those crimes.
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Byars’ family was in the courtroom to see Thompson’s sentencing. Some members said his sentencing fell short of offering closure for the murder.
Byars’ 23-year-old daughter, Stephanie McAfee, called Thompson pathetic for preying on women, although he thinks of himself as a “tough guy.”
She told the court she was at the sentencing to serve as a visual reminder of the woman Thompson killed.
“My mom knew he was a coward,” McAfee said. “That’s why she fought him to the death.”
Penny Collingwood, Byars’ sister, called Thompson’s actions senseless, horrific and cruel during her tearful statement to the judge. “No one should have to go through what my little sister went through,” she said.
During Collingwood’s statement, Thompson made mocking gestures toward her from his seat.
As in previous appearances, Thompson was so disruptive that he was wheeled to the courtroom in a restraint chair hooked to an electrical-shock device with multiple guards standing behind him.
Physical restraint did little to keep Thompson from interrupting King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson — whom he once threatened to kill — and hurling insults at Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole and defense attorney John Hicks. Before sentencing, the judge had Thompson removed from court.
Thompson was released from prison in 2003 after serving an 18-year sentence for four rapes he committed in 1985. County prosecutors tried to send him to a treatment center for sex offenders, but a jury blocked the attempt because they believed he was no longer a threat.
Phillip Lucas: 206-515-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org