Auburn man sentenced to 65 years for torturing, killing girlfriend’s autistic son


Auburn man sentenced to 65 years for torturing, killing girlfriend’s autistic son
  1. Auburn man sentenced to 65 years for torturing, killing girlfriend’s autistic son
    o.seattletimes.com
    The victim’s mother, a former special-education teacher in the Renton School District, admitted to helping cover up the murder of her 18-year-old son and was convicted of rendering criminal a…
    Crime

A 45-year-old Auburn man who was convicted of torturing and killing his ex-girlfriend’s severely autistic 18-year-old son was sentenced Friday to 65 years in prison.

Matt Christenson was convicted by a King County jury in August of homicide by abuse in the death of Otto Smith, who died in April 2014. The defendant was also convicted of three counts of second-degree assault-domestic violence for beating Smith’s younger brother and one count each of felony harassment and unlawful imprisonment.

The charges included aggravators based on Christenson’s ongoing pattern of abuse, his deliberate cruelty and the victims’ vulnerability, according to the prosecutor’s office. Prosecutors had recommended the 65-year sentence based on the aggravators, far beyond the standard range of 30 to 41 years.

The victims’ mother, Pascia Backman, met Christenson through an ad posted on Craigslist in December 2013, charging papers say. He moved into her two-bedroom Auburn apartment along with his then 20-year-old son.

Beginning in January 2014, Smith and his brother, then 14, were subjected to beatings, forced exercise and hourslong ice baths, say the charges, which also accuse Christenson of withholding food from the brothers, shaking cayenne pepper into their eyes and zapping Smith with a stun gun.

Smith was also forced to wear garbage bags as diapers, and the younger boy was required to sleep on the bathroom floor.

According to the charges:

Christenson pulled Smith out of an ice bath, bound his legs and arms, shoved a sock into his mouth and wrapped his head in duct tape. Backman found him underneath a large sofa chair while Christenson sat a few feet away, drinking beer and smoking marijuana.

Backman removed the chair, then unwrapped the duct tape and took the sock out of her son’s mouth — but Smith “took his last breath” while lying on the living-room floor, according to the charges. She washed the tape residue from Smith’s face, then she and Christenson drove Smith to a hospital, where the mother told staff Smith had fallen down some stairs, the charges say.

He spent several days in the hospital, then another two weeks at a children’s respite-care facility in Yakima, according to the charges.

Smith was released from the care facility on April 10, 2014, but died two days after retur…

  1. Rapper Nelly arrested in Seattle area for alleged sexual assault

    O.seattletimes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 19:35 o.seattletimes.com
    Hours after a woman reported to authorities that Nelly had sexually assaulted her, a lawyer who said he represented the rapper said his client had been released from…
  2. Is the son of the former vice commander a career criminal?

    Thebaynet.com - Crime
    10.07 / 16:02 thebaynet.com
    Daniel David Alioto Jr. is facing charges ranging from theft to…
  3. Governor Larry Hogan Announces Nearly $5 Million in Grants for Crime Victims

    Thebaynet.com - Crime
    10.07 / 16:02 thebaynet.com
    Funding Will Provide Support Services and Treatment…
  4. Long Beach Trio Arrested In Irvine For Burglary

    Gazettes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 13:56 gazettes.com
    Three of five suspects accused of a string of residential burglaries in Irvine were behind bars…
  5. Anne Arundel police investigating three deaths

    Thebaynet.com - Crime
    10.07 / 09:58 thebaynet.com
    Discovery of three bodies being investigated by the Anne Arundel police as gang-related…
  6. Long Beach Resident Recalls Shooting At Las Vegas Country Music Festival

    Gazettes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 08:47 gazettes.com
    A Long Beach resident attending the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip helped carry an unconscious woman to out of the line of fire during a mass-shooting near the Mandalay Bay Resort Sunday…
  7. Two People Injured In Shooting In Southampton

    Bernews.com - Crime
    10.07 / 07:56 bernews.com
    [Updating: A shooting took place in the Southampton Rangers area at around 8.30pm this evening, with a male on a motorcycle discharging a firearm, resulting in two people, a male and female, being shot. Police said both victims "are being treated for injuries that do not appear to be life threatening."] The police are responding […](Click to read the full…
  8. Jewelry courier stabbed, robbed in Bellevue parking lot

    O.seattletimes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 05:15 o.seattletimes.com
    The jewelry heist is the latest in a string of similar robberies in the Seattle area over the past several…
  9. Auburn man sentenced to 65 years for torturing, killing girlfriend’s autistic son

    O.seattletimes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 05:15 o.seattletimes.com
    The victim’s mother, a former special-education teacher in the Renton School District, admitted to helping cover up the murder of her 18-year-old son and was convicted of rendering criminal a…
  10. Suspected gunman in West Seattle ambush killing charged with murder

    O.seattletimes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 05:15 o.seattletimes.com
    Police say the 19-year-old man confided in a handful of people that he was responsible for fatally shooting another man in West Seattle on Sept. 19, according to criminal charges filed in the…
  11. Driver in deadly crash who sped off with victim’s grocery cart stuck to grille gets 8 1/2 years

    O.seattletimes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 05:15 o.seattletimes.com
    Treza Hafzalla, 28, of Seattle, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide while driving under the influence for the crash near Green Lake. Killed was Donnelle “Nellie” Yelli, 62…
  12. Longtime morning host Mitch Levy says he has parted ways with KJR after prostitution arrest

    O.seattletimes.com - Crime
    10.07 / 05:15 o.seattletimes.com
    The longtime morning-show host on the Seattle sports-radio station was arrested in August during an undercover prostitution sting in Bellevue. On Thursday he entered an Alford plea to patronizing a…
  13. Open Thread for Oct. 2, 2017…Las Vegas is the deadliest mass shooting in US history….

    Politicaldog101.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:58 politicaldog101.com
    The Sunday night mass shooting in Las Vegas is officially the deadliest mass shooting in U.S.…
  14. America’s deadliest shooting incidents are getting much more deadly…

    Politicaldog101.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:58 politicaldog101.com
    If it seems as though we only just experienced another deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, it’s because we d…
  15. Las Vegas shooting and the NRA….Wait it out….

    Politicaldog101.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:58 politicaldog101.com
    The approach calls for aggressive fact-finding and long strategy sessions before any public statements. The Fairfax, Virginia-based organization has waited weeks before responding to past deadly incidents that NRA critics call the indirect result of its resistance to tighter gun…
  16. Robert Mueller Update Oct 3, 2017….Pre-Emptive Pardons?

    Politicaldog101.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:58 politicaldog101.com
     Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution confers pardon authority on the President for violations of federal law (not state laws) stating that the President has the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the U.S., except in cases of im…
  17. White American men are more of threat to America than Muslim foreigners….

    Politicaldog101.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:58 politicaldog101.com
    Look back even..... They make up the lions share of mass…
  18. Maryland State Police Arrests- Leonardtown Barrack

    Thebaynet.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:55 thebaynet.com
    Maryland State Police Arrests- Leonardtown…
  19. Calvert man busted for gun and drug violations

    Thebaynet.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:55 thebaynet.com
    Listening to loud music and wearing a gun while the motor is running leads to…
  20. Reports of suspicious van lurking in Leonardtown

    Thebaynet.com - Crime
    10.07 / 04:55 thebaynet.com
    Teens report suspicious van and driver in…