Crime

Report on Webster reveals many crimes

KENNEWICK -- A state prosecutor is tacking on six more years to her recommended sentence for convicted rapist David Webster after a background investigation dug up more criminal convictions from his home state of Arkansas.

Webster, 40, now faces up to 23 years and four months behind bars for raping his Franklin County jail cellmate in September 2003.

He is scheduled to be sentenced today in Franklin County Superior Court. However, Webster wants a nearly two-month delay, claiming he needs to look into a statement that someone connected to the jail tampered with the victim's "testimonial evidence."

Assistant Attorney General Melanie Tratnik said she will ask Judge Cameron Mitchell to go forward as scheduled.

A jury returned a guilty verdict April 27 on one count of second-degree rape, but deadlocked 9-3 on verdicts for two other counts of rape. Tratnik has decided not to retry Webster on those charges.

The sentencing was put on hold to allow the state Department of Corrections enough time to complete a lengthy presentencing report, which is required for sex offenses. Webster turned down two requests by Pasco-based Community Corrections Officer Sheila Perkins to be interviewed for the report.

Before the 22-page report was filed July 2, Tratnik told the Herald she was going to recommend a prison term of 17 years and seven months. But after reviewing the report, Tratnik realized there is more to Webster's past.

She believes Webster's offender score would top out at a nine, giving him a standard sentencing range of 17 1/2 years to 23 years and four months in prison if the judge agrees with her.

She said there is no question she'll pursue the longest sentence for the sexual assault of a now-31-year-old man who was locked down overnight with Webster.

The crime occurred shortly after another Franklin County jury found Webster guilty in 2003 of assaulting a woman and later trying to hire someone to kill her before that case went to trial. He was acquitted of rape in that case.

The report shows Webster's felony criminal history includes the following:

1986 Arkansas: Webster was fighting with a cousin when another man stepped in to separate them and ended up stabbed in the shoulder and lung. Webster on another occasion took a purse from a woman. He was prosecuted as an adult for battery and theft and sentenced to six years in prison.

1986 Arkansas: Police saw Webster fight with a woman and point a hunting knife at her in a threatening manner. He was prosecuted as an adult for aggravated assault and given six years.

1986 Arkansas: Webster stole a riding lawn mower. He was prosecuted as an adult for theft and given six years.

1992 Arkansas: Webster pointed a handgun at several partygoers, then fired a shot in the direction of two people after an argument. He was tried for aggravated assault and being a felon with a gun and sentenced to five years.

1997 Arkansas: Webster's car was stopped after officers heard a gunshot. They found a sawed-off shotgun with the serial number plate marred. Webster got 60 months of probation and 300 community service hours.

1998 Arkansas: While on parole, Webster broke into his girlfriend's home, attacked her with a knife and slashed her in the face and body. She needed 44 stitches. He got five years for battery, which was served along with a parole revocation. He was released in June 2001. Six months later he moved to Washington in violation of parole.

2002 Pasco: He was charged with raping a woman he met at a bar, then beating her with a broken beer bottle and biting off her eyebrow when she fought off his advances. Then he tried to hire an undercover West Richland officer to "off" the woman so she couldn't testify. Convicted of assault and solicitation to commit first-degree murder, he was sentenced to 26 years.

Just months before that crime, Webster also was convicted in two separate cases of misdemeanor domestic violence assault and criminal trespassing. He got up to four months in jail in the Pasco Municipal Court cases.

Webster reportedly strangled and hit a woman he believed was "sleeping with another man," and told officers he'd had enough of her because she was too old. He also went into a home without permission.

The state background report also points out that Webster was arrested in 1997 for allegedly raping a woman who had been abducted from a parking lot by him and two other men. The victim reportedly was too embarrassed to press charges.

The male victim in the jail rape told Perkins for her report that he wants Webster to get sex offender treatment in prison.

Asked by Perkins if he wanted to share anything with Judge Mitchell, the victim said, "It is most important for the judge to know that Mr. Webster showed no remorse whatsoever and that he is dangerous."

He also questioned what Webster would do if he were in an unsupervised setting after showing that he's "capable of such deliberating ferocity in a custodial setting," the report said.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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