Lynnwood man gets 12 years for robbing, beating 91-year-old

Lynnwood man gets 12 years for robbing, beating 91-year-old
Patrick Hartness (Photo courtesy of Everett police)
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - A Snohomish County judge sentenced a Lynnwood man to more than 12 years in prison for the violent robbery of a 91-year-old man at a gas station.

Patrick Hartness punched Harold Caywood during the robbery and left him bleeding. Caywood died several weeks later. A medical examiner could not say whether Caywood died because of injuries suffered during the August robbery because he had pre-existing conditions.

Because of that uncertainty, prosecutors decided not to pursue murder charges against Hartness.

Even at 91-years old, Caywood's family said he was still living his life when Hartness attacked him outside a local AM/PM gas station.

His daughter, Susan Fenner, said his health continued to deteriorate after the attack.

"He was a very active man, and after that assault he was never the same and he just declined, declined, declined," Fenner said.

While they didn't pursue murder charges, prosecutors sought a long sentence and judge agreed Monday.

The Everett Herald reports that the 12-year sentence is about two years less than the low-end sentence for a second-degree murder conviction and about three times longer than a standard range sentence for first-degree robbery.

Police suspect the Caywood beating and robbery wasn't the only crime Hartness committed. In the weeks following the robbery, police said they discovered more elderly people who they believe fell prey to Harntness.

"We came up with additional information that did link him to other burglaries, and also to identity theft," Aaron Snell of the Everett police said in October.

Hartness' attorney Will Steffener said his client was high on heroin at the time of the robbery.