OLYMPIA - The 12-year-old son of murder victim Shaun Allen Peterson said his life "will never be the same" without his dad and cried in court Tuesday shortly before a judge sentenced Peterson's killer to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
Robert Maddaus, 41, was convicted by a Thurston County jury last week in connection with Peterson’s November 2009 homicide. Maddaus, a methamphetamine dealer from Rochester, kidnapped Peterson at gunpoint outside a Fred Meyer parking lot and shot him five times while Peterson was in handcuffs outside a Capitol Way residence.
Witnesses testified that in the week or so before Peterson’s homicide, Maddaus was obsessed with finding out who had stolen 5 pounds of meth and $30,000 from a safe in his home. Police and Peterson’s friends have said there was no evidence that Peterson was responsible for the theft.
Peterson’s mother, Judy, spoke during Tuesday’s sentencing about her son’s love of the outdoors. She said he wrote poetry and loved to make others laugh.
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“He had the biggest heart,” Judy Peterson said. As for Maddaus, Judy Peterson said, a life prison sentence is just what he deserves.
“He isn’t remorseful; he is a coward,” she said.
After Maddaus’ sentencing, Judy Peterson hugged Olympia police Sgt. Dan Smith and thanked him for helping to make sure Maddaus will be in prison for the rest of his life.
Shaun Peterson’s sister Gaylin Johnson said her brother had been trying to get off drugs. She and other family members said his murder so frightened many of his friends in the Olympia area that they decided to enter recovery programs and get clean.
Judy Peterson said her son used drugs to self-medicate and had bipolar disorder.
Shaun Peterson was 40 at the time of his death. He leaves behind two children: his son, Josh, and a 1-year-old daughter.
Maddaus declined to address the court.
During the hearing, Maddaus told a corrections officer that he would spit on a photographer for The Olympian if he did not stop taking photos.
Pomeroy found that Maddaus’ conviction for premeditated murder was a “third-strike” offense, meaning he was automatically sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
The jury additionally convicted Maddaus of attempted kidnapping, second-degree assault, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and four counts of tampering with evidence.
Pomeroy sentenced Maddaus to an additional seven years and three months for the attempted-kidnapping conviction.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 email@example.com