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38 years for 1995 slaying

The man who killed Pierce County sheriff's deputy John Bananola 15 years ago got another new prison sentence Friday.

Judge Stephanie Arend sentenced Brian Eggleston to 38 years, six months.

It was the third time Arend has sentenced Eggleston, 40, for killing Bananola. The first two sentences – 48 years, six months and 46 years, nine months – were overturned on appeal.

The latest reversal came earlier this year when the state Court of Appeals, Division II, ruled that Arend erred when she ordered the sentences for a number of drug convictions to run consecutively with Eggleston’s murder and assault convictions. The appeals court ruled that the drug sentences should be served concurrently.

The court also ordered her to reinstate the sentence he received in 2003 on the assault conviction.

The ruling save Eggleston eight years.

Bananola, a 36-year-old father, was shot to death as he and other deputies served a search warrant on Eggleston’s Tacoma home in October 1995. They were looking for evidence of drug crimes.

Prosecutors contended Eggleston executed Bananola and intentionally shot another deputy, Warren Dogeagle, during the raid.

Eggleston said he thought the deputies were intruders and that he was protecting himself and his family by opening fire. He was wounded in the gunfire.

Prosecutors took Eggleston to trial three times before winning a second-degree murder conviction against him. His first trial ended with the jury hanging on the murder count. An appeals count overturned his murder conviction from his second trial.

Deputy Prosecutor James Schacht argued Friday that Arend should give Eggleston the stiffest sentence possible under the latest appeals court ruling: 38 years, six months.

Bananola’s daughter Brooke wiped at tears during the hearing. She was a teenager when her father died.

She wrote a statement that sheriff’s deputy Dennis Robinson read to Arend.

“I’ve spent my life wondering what it would have been like to have him by my side,” her statement said.

Brooke Bananola’s statement said she had no sympathy for Eggleston in his claims that the justice system has treated him unfairly.

“I’ve had to live my whole life unfairly because of that man’s senseless actions,” her statement said.

Eggleston’s attorney, Steven Witchley, called the re-sentencing an “academic exercise.” His client suffers a number of health problems and probably will die in prison even with the eight-year reduction, Witchley said.

Eggleston made no statement on his own behalf.

Outside court, his mother, Linda Eggleston, said she believes in her son’s innocence.

“I’m praying one day that justice will be served,” she said. “My son acted in self-defense.”

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