EVERETT – Robert Myrick Sr. of Marysville hasn’t smiled much since his son, Robbie Myrick Jr., was killed after a fight last August.
But he smiled April 13.
Myrick, and his family members, talked in court about how broken he has been since Robbie’s death. They all said the juvenile responsible in the killing deserved more than 30 days in jail, which was the maximum sentence agreed to by the prosecution for second-degree manslaughter. This newspaper does not name juvenile defendants.
So when Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Richard Okrent sentenced the juvenile to 12 months instead of 30 days, Myrick couldn’t help himself. He had a big smile.
“I was surprised,” he admitted.
Okrent said aggravating circumstances led to his decision. He said the fact that Robbie fell and the juvenile kicked him in the head while defenseless was an aggravating circumstance that deserved a harsher punishment.
The judge said he didn’t understand the defendant’s actions.
“You had won the fight. You decided to up the ante,” Okrent said. “It takes a lot of anger” to kick someone in the head until they are comatose.
The judge said the juvenile made a conscious effort to be cruel, despite loud warnings from the crowd not to do it.
And even though there were four adults there over the age of 18, “Not one person” contacted medical aid in a timely manner, while Robbie “languished in the woods.”
Okrent said: “I cannot bring Robbie back. I can’t turn back time” so the juvenile could make a different choice. But the defendant “has to think about this for the rest of his life.”
The defendant, his dad, mom, grandmother and attorney all spoke on his behalf. The now 16-year-old said there were no words to describe his remorse, that it was never his intention to kill Robbie, and that he wants to be responsible for his actions.
His mom said that this has also taken a toll on their family, and it will never be forgotten.
His dad said everyone has changed forever.
When Myrick Sr. spoke, he talked about his son’s interests: Dirt bikes, hiking, Boom City fireworks, fishing, hockey, bowling, snowmobiling, but his favorite was basketball. “He would drain 3’s, nothing but net,” Myrick said, adding he would have to tell Robbie to stop at 11 p.m. because he was keeping the neighbors awake. The only time Myrick’s voice was obviously upset was when he talked about four adults who went to the fight to make sure, “It didn’t get out of hand.”
If it was the other way around they would have stepped in, he said.
“Not one of them helped,” as my son was left propped up against a tree dying, Myrick said.
He added that help was just a few minutes away, and Robbie could have survived. But he was left to suffer at least an hour, going into the woods at 2 p.m. and the 9-1-1 call not coming until 3:50 p.m. Myrick then had to watch his son in a coma for nine days. It was jealousy, he was angry over a girl. “Robbie was stepping in on his territory,” Myrick said. And then he lied about it, telling police, “The boy who did this ran off.”
Myrick also voiced that the “so called justice system” has gone soft. “Young people can get away with murder,” he said. “What kind of precedence is being set?”
He said prosecutors don’t even try to punish so criminals learn a lesson. They take the path of least resistance.
“I’ve lost all faith in the justice system,” he said.
Robbie’s aunt, Tina Hampton, said the defendant had no right to play God.
“You took a life because you were mad over a girl,” she said. “My brother is broken, lost.”
She explained that Myrick raised Robbie on his own since his son was 3, and now he comes home to an empty house. His son will never graduate, marry or have kids.
Robbie’s uncle, Rod Hampton, said Aug. 28, 2017 was the worst day of his life. He described the horror of Robbie being taken off life support and fighting until his last breath.
“Robbie’s life is only worth thirty days in the eyes of the law,” Hampton said, adding his nephew didn’t receive any respect in death or from the justice system.
With the judge’s sentence, Robbie’s dad’s smile showed he felt more justice than he had expected.