Two men who participated in a 2005 murder-for-hire plot hatched by the victim's wife were each sentenced this morning to 25 years in prison.
Two men who participated in a 2005 murder-for-hire plot prosecutors say was hatched by the victim’s wife were each sentenced this morning to 25 years in prison.
Jon Ogden and Wilson Sayachack were both 16 when they participated in the slaying of Ogden’s 61-year-old stepfather, Ronald Whitehead, which was made to look like a carjacking. Whitehead, a longtime Boeing employee, was shot to death behind the wheel of his car and then pushed into a street near his home, according to court documents.
A King County jury deliberated for less than a day in August before finding Ogden, 20, guilty of first-degree murder. He was sentenced this morning.
Sayachack, 19, pleaded guilty this morning to first-degree murder after his first two trials ended in mistrials. Sayachack was then sentenced to 25 years in prison.
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He was scheduled to be retried later this month.
During Ogden’s trial, King County prosecutors had Whitehead’s Ford Mustang reassembled in the courtroom to show jurors where Ogden and Sayachack were when Whitehead was killed. According to prosecutors, Sayachack was hiding in the trunk of Whitehead’s car, pushed down the folding back seat and fired four shots into the back of Whitehead’s head. Ogden was in the passenger seat.
Prosecutors say Velma Ogden-Whitehead, the slain man’s wife and Ogden’s mother, masterminded the slaying. Ogden-Whitehead, who is serving 22 years in prison for first-degree murder, recruited her son, who, in turn, hired high-school classmate Sayachack to carry out the slaying, prosecutors say.
After her husband was found dead, Ogden-Whitehead appealed publicly for help finding the killer. But police began examining her finances and relationships. Investigators say that Ogden-Whitehead and her husband had a rocky marriage and that she had an affair with a fellow employee at the auto-parts store where she worked.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.