7/27/2014

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Prosecutors: Killer, freed by judge, raped Auburn girl

July 30, 2009, was Leslie Guy Wilson’s lucky day.

Having served 17 years in federal prison for murdering an Olympic Peninsula couple before raping the corpse of the woman he killed, Wilson was facing more years in prison for breaking his probation.

Had federal prosecutors had their way – a four-year term – Wilson would most likely have left federal prison earlier this year. But a federal judge thought Wilson deserved a break and instead sentenced the Auburn man to just nine months in custody.

Now, state prosecutors contend Wilson used the extra free time to rape a 6-year-old girl.

Convicted of child molestation before the 1991 double slaying, Wilson, 42, now faces child rape charges in King County. He’s also set to be sentenced to federal prison Friday for a more recent escape.

Asking that Wilson receive the five-year maximum term to the federal offense, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods said Wilson is “out of chances.”

“He has lost any benefit of the doubt,” Woods said in court papers. “He is a dangerous man who has committed horrible crimes (and) who has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unable to control his conduct.

“He needs to be removed from society for the protection of the public.”

A killing that rocked a reservation

Caught as a teen molesting a 10-year-old girl, Wilson made a habit of burglarizing homes and businesses before he was caught killing.

Arrested following a 1989 break-in, he broke out of a patrol car and fled. He was caught in another burglary shortly before the murders; he then kicked out the window of his jail cell and attempted to run.

While Wilson was known in Neah Bay for the trouble he made, Richard and Jeri Husband were popular members of that Makah Nation community. While not tribe members themselves, the Husbands’ deaths on Sept. 22, 1991, rocked the Olympic Peninsula reservation and devastated the couple’s family.

Armed with a stolen pistol, Wilson knocked on the door of the Husbands’ trailer. When they answered, Wilson shot Richard Husband five times and executed his wife with a shot to the forehead. According to court papers, Wilson then stripped Jeri Husband and violated her corpse.

Hours later, Wilson approached a woman on the street – she was described by prosecutors as “gentle” and “frail” – and demanded drugs. When she could not provide any, Wilson drew the pistol, pointed it at her and pulled the trigger; the gun didn’t fire, but Wilson told her he’d kill her with the next try.

Wilson was extremely drunk and high during the killings and assault. His alcohol abuse is the only motive ever offered for his attack on the Husbands.

‘Not a typical murder defendant’

Because the Husbands were killed on Makah Nation land, the FBI investigated and Wilson was prosecuted in federal court. Sentenced to 24 years in federal prison, Wilson was released Sept. 19, 2008, nearly 17 years to the day after he killed the couple.

Wilson was back in the bottle within weeks and was sent to an alcohol treatment center in March 2009. He ran away from the center after little more than a month and made his way to a Port Angeles home, which he broke into. He was arrested there after a tense standoff with police.

Federal prosecutors then asked that Wilson be sentenced to four years in prison for the probation violations. At the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Whalley said he had “every reason to believe” Wilson would hurt someone else if freed.

“If he remains free, he will drink, and he will then reach a state to commit a violent crime,” Whalley told the court in 2009. “He is not a typical murder defendant who committed his offense out of jealousy, or during a robbery or burglary. … Wilson’s offense was based solely on his abuse of alcohol, and after years in prison he went right back to drinking.

“The only way to protect the community is to send him back to prison for a long time,” concluded Whalley, who had prosecuted Wilson 17 years before in the Husbands’ murders.

Writing the court then, Wilson’s defense attorney said her client was fighting his addictions and needed the court’s leniency to succeed.

Abandoned by his mother and then orphaned after his father died in a fishing accident, Wilson began drinking at age 6 and was a daily drinker by age 12. Despite his tragic, horrific history, Wilson hoped to change his ways through alcohol treatment.

U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik apparently agreed that Wilson deserved an opportunity and sentenced him to three months in detention as well as six months at a secure treatment facility. Wilson was free again by March 2010.

Rape allegations rise

In the months after his release, Wilson was caught using alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs on several occasions. While his probation officers were initially convinced Wilson was committed to sobriety, Lasnik sentenced Wilson to six more months in custody on Aug. 27, 2012.

King County prosecutors now claim Wilson repeatedly sexually assaulted a young girl during those two years of relative freedom.

Following his March 2010 release, Wilson was living in Auburn on Muckleshoot Tribe land, where he had been caring for a cancer-stricken elderly man and working as a guard at a reservation fireworks stand.

State prosecutors say Wilson began sexually assaulting an Auburn girl shortly after his release from federal custody. Wilson is alleged to have raped the girl at an Auburn home.

According to charging documents, an investigation was launched early this year after the girl came forward with allegations that Wilson sexually assaulted her several times while he was drinking. The girl later told Auburn police Wilson raped her.

Wilson was charged in February with first-degree child rape in King County Superior Court. Those charges remain outstanding.

‘No signs of turning his life around’

Jailed for much of the six-month jail sentence imposed in August 2012, Wilson was serving the last weeks of that term at Pioneer Fellowship House in Seattle when he cut off a GPS tracker and ran on Jan. 3, 2013. He was arrested the next day near the First Hill center and ultimately pled guilty to a federal charge related to the escape.

Federal prosecutors have asked that Wilson be sentenced to five years in prison for that escape. Writing the court, Woods said Wilson has shown himself undeserving of freedom.

The federal prosecutor went on to describe his colleague’s 2009 recommendation that Wilson serve a four-year term – the request that went unheeded at the time – as “completely justified.”

“Wilson had brutally murdered two people. He had pulled a gun on a third. He had performed a horrible act on the dead woman’s body. …

“He had shown no signs of turning his life around. No commitment to change,” Woods said in a memo to Lasnik, who will again sentence Wilson.

In state charging papers, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson said Wilson’s January escape from treatment seems to have come after he was told he was being investigated for sexual assaults.

The state prosecution is expected to proceed after Wilson is sentenced for the federal offense.

Having pleaded not guilty to the state child rape charge, Wilson would serve any sentence imposed in the state prosecution after completing his federal prison term. He faces up to 26 years in prison.

Wilson remains in federal custody pending Friday’s sentencing hearing.
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