Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy sentenced Jakob Curtis to 33 years and two months in prison after Curtis pleaded guilty to first-degree murder while armed with a deadly weapon and third-degree assault in connection with Samlock's death.
Samlock was found stabbed in the chest on a sidewalk off Cooper Point Road Oct. 12. He died at the scene.
During Thursday's hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler said that during a dispute in a nearby homeless encampment, Curtis struck Samlock over the head with a whisky bottle and then stabbed him in the heart.
A co-defendant, Jason Beeson, 21, also is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly participating in the fight that killed Samlock. Beeson's murder case is pending, Wheeler said.
Wheeler said Curtis is "an exceptional danger to the community." He added that after Curtis' arrest, Olympia Police Detective Chris Johnstone interviewed him, and Curtis told him that "I've gotten everything I've got in my life through violence."
During Thursday's guilty plea and sentencing hearing, Samlock's family members spoke tearfully about how much they will miss him. The courtroom was packed with Samlock's loved ones. They said that while Samlock was transient, that did not define who he was. Samlock's oldest brother, Michael Barnhardt, spoke about what a kind and generous person his brother was.
"My brother deserved so much more than this," Barnhardt said. "My heart breaks to think of my baby brother spending his last few moments and breath of life alone without the family that loves him unconditionally. My heart breaks thinking about the cold and calculated way his life ended."
Samlock's sister-in-law, Penny Barney, spoke about the last time she spoke with Samlock, and they talked about him finding a girlfriend and someday having children. "Thanksgiving, Christmas, it was so hard to go shopping to see something we would have gotten him to pick it up off the shelf, only to put it back and leave the store so I can get a grip," she said.
At 21, Curtis already has a lengthy criminal history, which includes a conviction for first-degree robbery. In fact, Curtis had only been released from prison about a week before he committed Samlock's murder, Wheeler said in court.
Curtis' attorney, Ron Sergi, said his client did not mean to fatally stab Samlock, but only intented to injure him. Before Murphy handed down her sentence, Curtis briefly addressed the court, but he did not apologize to the court of Samlock's family for his actions.
"It was never my intention to kill Mr. Samlock," Curtis said.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 email@example.com