2 men involved in 2002 killing receive reduced sentences
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Two of the eight men convicted in connection with the 2002 killing of an 18-year-old girl will get out of prison early.
Matthew Durham and Maurice Rivas were originally sentenced to about 26 years for their part in the 2002 murder of Rachel Burkheimer. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel on Friday ruled the co-defendants’ prison terms be reduced to 22½ years.
A state Supreme Court ruling last year opened the door for the potential resentencing or release of some convicts. Under the decision, judges must consider the defendant’s age in sentencing. Durham was 17 and Rivas 18 at the time of the killing, the Everett Herald reported.
Burkheimer was fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend John “Diggy” Anderson. The seven other men convicted in her killing played roles in her death.
Prosecutors alleged Burkheimer was tricked into going to a duplex, where she was beaten, tied up and held for hours. Eventually, she was forced into a duffel bag and driven to the Cascade foothills where she was forced to kneel in a freshly dug grave.
Durham, now 37, admitted to driving Burkheimer to the scene of her death. Rivas, now 38, admitted to assisting in Burkheimer’s kidnapping, digging her grave and being present at her shooting.