Crime

Two to go free in shooting death of Tacoma city worker Lisa Melancon

In this July 26 file photo, Manuel Castillo, one of the suspects in the shooting of Lisa Melancon, is lead by a Pierce County deputy into Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma. Police say Melancon was an innocent bystander who was struck by a stray bullet when she stepped outside of her house.
In this July 26 file photo, Manuel Castillo, one of the suspects in the shooting of Lisa Melancon, is lead by a Pierce County deputy into Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma. Police say Melancon was an innocent bystander who was struck by a stray bullet when she stepped outside of her house. TNT

Two men originally charged with murder in the shooting death of a Tacoma city worker earlier this year were expected to be released from jail Wednesday after reaching a deal with Pierce County prosecutors.

Manuel Castillo, 20, and Herman Jackson, 29, pleaded guilty to one count each of riot with aggravating circumstances.

They face a standard-range sentence of no jail time to as much as a year when sentenced in July. They could face an exceptional sentence of up to five years if they don’t abide by the terms of their plea agreement.

Castillo and Jackson are expected to testify against co-defendant Olujimi A. Blakeney as part of the deal.

That could not be confirmed because Superior Court Commissioner Patrick Oishi temporarily sealed the written plea agreement from public view at the request of deputy prosecutor Jerry Costello.

Defense attorneys Michael Schwartz, who represents Castillo, and Donald Winskill, who represents Jackson, did not object to the record being sealed.

Both Castillo and Jackson faced a minimum of 20 years in prison after being charged as accomplices with first-degree murder in the July 22 homicide of Lisa Marie Melancon, 40.

Oishi on Wednesday released the men from jail on their personal recognizance pending sentencing.

Blakeney is charged with first-degree murder.

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