Teenager Sentenced for Deaths of Mother and Sister - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Teenager Sentenced for Deaths of Mother and Sister

Kennewick, WA -

A Benton County judge has sentenced a West Richland teenager to nine and a half years for the deaths of his mother and sister.

In a plea agreement, Donald Schalchlin pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter and rendering criminal assistance .  Today judge Craig Matheson handed down the maximum sentence recommended by the state, saying leniency had to end with the plea agreement.

Schalchlin arrived in court wearing a crew cut. He sat down and bent over as lead defense counsel Norma Rodriguez described the moment Schalchlin watched Joshua Tucker slash his sister's throat.

"Donald Drops to his knees, horrified. In utter shock. He takes his hands, cups his mouth. His eyes wide-eyed. Oh my God. Oh my God. That's my sister."

The defense argues Schalchlin was in shock and acted in duress when he helped Joshua Tucker hide his sister's body, and stood by and did little as Tucker chased his mother around their home, stabbing her some 90 times.

When deputies arrived, however, Rodriguez says Schalchlin didn't run from deputies, he ran toward them, telling them to help his mother.

Prosecutor Andy Miller says he feels compassion for Schalchlin and his troubled life, but miller says Schalchlin made a conscious decision to help hide his sister's body and not try to save his mother. 

Friends of Schalchlin testified in support, and defense counsel Rodriguez had to pause, fighting back tears, describing Schalchlin's life of abuse and neglect by the people he loved.

Schalchlin's aunt, Jolie Estes,  had little sympathy. "Donald answered the phone when 911 called back. He could have gotten help for Lori, and he refused. He could have saved Lori instead of his Play Station, and he refused."

Speaking quietly, Schalchlin told the judge, "I'm sorry for my actions. I know I did wrong. I should have done more."

In handing down the nine and a half year sentence, judge Craig Matheson told Schalchlin rehabilitation starts with admission. 

"You're young enough that you'll have a life ahead when you get out of prison, and you need to start today deciding what type of life you want then."

<mosID>KNDU.DEKO.MOS</mosID><mosAbstract>Schalchlin will be taken to the juvenile facility in Chehalis, the same facility where Joshua Tucker is serving his life sentence for the murders of Schalchlin's mother and sister.

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