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BHS senior pleads not guilty in Greenwood murder case

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on March 19th, 2014

According to our news partners The Seattle Times, the Ballard High School senior accused of fatally shooting David L. Peterson in Greenwood last month pleaded not guilty on Monday morning to first-degree murder.

Peterson was out for an evening walk on Sunday, February 23, when he called 911 around 8:27 p.m. to report that he had been the victim of an attempted robbery. While he was on the phone, the accused 17-year-old Byron K. A. White allegedly returned to the scene.

“We heard the victim in his own voice talking about the incident,” said homicide Det. Cloyd Steiger, who led the investigation for the Seattle Police Department. “He said that the guy was coming back toward him and then there’s a scuffle and the phone went dead.” reports that Peterson died at the scene of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Court documents also reveal the motive for the shooting, as White told friends that Peterson had seen his face and he “had to shoot him.”

White was arrested on March 1 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport where he was preparing to board a flight to Atlanta. SPD reports that White’s mother alerted them to his whereabouts.

White was charged as an adult on Monday morning with first-degree murder, attempted robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm. According to The Seattle Times report, despite being under 18, White was charged under a state law that “allows 16- and 17-year-olds suspected of serious, violent offenses to be charged as adults automatically.”

In addition to pleading not guilty to first-degree murder, White also pleaded not guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and second-degree attempted robbery. According to King County prosecutor, if convicted he could be facing 27 to 35 years in prison.

According to The Seattle Times, White is currently being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

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13 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 boardbrown // Mar 19, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Wow, first-degree murder only carries a 27-35 year sentence? That doesn’t sound right.

  • 2 justice // Mar 20, 2014 at 6:15 am

    It does? That is around half of a human life expectancy. Sounds about right to me.

    I still think he should be charged as the juvenile he is.

  • 3 Chris // Mar 20, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Why should he be charged as a juvenile? At 17 you’re old enough to be making such life and death decisions. If that wasn’t the case we wouldn’t allow people enlist in the military when they’re 17.

  • 4 boardbrown // Mar 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

    He came back to intentionally kill his robbery victim, which makes that premeditated murder.
    27-35 seem too light.

  • 5 Skipspence // Mar 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Life. No key.

  • 6 Sam // Mar 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    “I still think he should be charged as the juvenile he is.”

    Why, so he can get out in 5-10 years or when he turns 18? Wow, could you say that to the widow’s face?

  • 7 ted // Mar 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    My condolences to Mr. Peterson’s family. I think this is horrible killing someone for a freeking phone! The juvi should definitely be tried as an adult and should be sentenced to life in prison/death penalty. People like Mr. White should not have a life because they do not value it.

  • 8 Sal // Mar 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    “It does? That is around half of a human life expectancy. Sounds about right to me.

    I still think he should be charged as the juvenile he is.”

    Weirdest comment I’ve read all day.

  • 9 justice // Mar 20, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Have you ever made a mistake Sal? Particularly when you were young and rather foolish?

    Obviously none of us has done anything as ruthless as this boy has done, but the fact is he is still a kid. His brain is not fully formed.

    What good does it serve to put this child behind bars for 40 years? Peace of mind to the widow? Do we really want an eye-for-eye justice or should we try to reform this person so he can become a productive member of society?

  • 10 Skipspence // Mar 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

    What good does it do? It keeps other punks, like the kid who killed the Tuba Man, from thinking they can get away with anything they want. Robbing a guy of his cell phone is a mistake. Killing him is not mistake.

  • 11 Hobo Hilton // Mar 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    “Have you ever made a mistake Sal? Particularly when you were young and rather foolish?”

    Let me think? Nope, never robbed anyone, shot them to death when they saw my face and then complained to my homeys that the phone I stole wasn’t a new model. I used to do bike jumps without a helmet, does that count as foolish?

  • 12 bembol // Apr 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Just read a previous article of a 16 year old (now 36yo) getting 51 years for an accidental, but tragic murder at BHS. This guy only faces up to 35 years??? Something is really screwed up with the justice system.

    Juveniles should be charged as juveniles. They are not adults.

  • 13 tom // Aug 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Another negro kills a white person. How much longer are you pinko liberals going to keep voting
    for these apes.

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