Eight months after Claire Thompson, a 20-year-old Sammamish native, was fatally shot at a Redmond house party, Cornelius De Jong IV pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
The 22-year-old Redmond man was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Monday at King County Superior Court. The victim’s family supported the resolution in the case, according to Dan Donohoe of the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to King County Prosecutor’s Office charging papers released in February, police said De Jong IV acted recklessly when he fired what he thought was an unloaded gun through a wall and struck Thompson in the neck on Feb. 12. The charging papers said De Jong appeared drunk after the incident and refused a breath test. The witness who called to report the shooting told dispatchers, “My best friend shot a girl in the house, he was drunk,” the charging documents said.
Thompson was rushed from the Education Hill party to Harborview Medical Center early that Sunday morning, but was pronounced dead at around 10 a.m.
De Jong IV, who pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter in February, has already served five months jail time, which will count toward Monday’s sentence.
According to current court documents, De Jong IV’s plea deal for the lesser second-degree manslaughter charge notes that within 30 days after his release he must contact the Redmond High principal to arrange to speak with students about the incident and how it’s affected him and others.
Also, within 30 days of his release, the documents say, De Jong IV must undergo an alcohol and substance-abuse evaluation and follow all treatment recommendations.
If De Jong IV violates these terms, he may face an additional penalty, the documents note.
De Jong IV’s criminal history shows five misdemeanors from November 2008 through February 2010 for driving under the influence, minor in possession and/or consumption of alcohol and driving with a suspended license.