Killers sentenced in death of Oroville woman, unborn child

Tansy Mathis and David Richards

Tansy Mathis and David Richards

OKANOGAN – Superior Court Judge T.W. “Chip” Small sentenced Tansy Fae Arwen Mathis and David Eugene Richards for the murder of Michelle Kitterman in a hearing Tuesday, May 11.

Prosecuting Attorney Karl Sloan said Mathis received the top range of sentencing for her crimes. On count one, aggravated murder in the first degree, Mathis received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. On count two, first degree manslaughter of an unborn child, she received the top range of a sentence of 78 to 102 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon. For count three, kidnapping in the first degree, Mathis received the top range of a sentence of 51 to 68 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon. Finally, for count four, tampering with physical evidence, she received one year.

“The court does have to enforce sentencing on all counts,” Sloan said. “Additionally, if an appeal came through on the first count but not on the others, the sentences for the other counts would still be upheld.”

For Richards’ first count of second degree murder, he received a mid-range sentence of a 165 to 265 month sentence range, which Sloan said was 215 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon. For his conviction of manslaughter of an unborn child, Richards’ was sentenced a mid-range sentence from the range of 111 to 147 months plus an additional 24 month enhancement for possession of a deadly weapon.

“Richards received an approximately 22 month total sentence,” Sloan said. “Even though he was found guilty on each count, the enhancements run consecutively to any other sentence, so they added an extra four years to his sentence.”

Sloan said the Kitterman family was present at the sentencing hearing and that prior to the hearing, they provided the court with victim impact statements. He added that Tracy Kitterman, Michelle’s mother, and a few other family members spoke to the court before the sentencing as well.

Mathis and Richards will now be transported to a state prison, but Sloan said he was not sure of which one they would be sent to.

The sentencing for Brent “Hollywood” Phillips, who pled guilty to premeditated murder in the first degree, manslaughter of a quick child in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree and tampering with physical evidence on Monday, March 29, has been continued by council and has not yet been scheduled.

The trial for Lacey Hirst-Pavek, who has been charged with first degree premeditated murder and first degree manslaughter, is set to begin on Tuesday, July 6. Hirst-Pavek is suspected in arranging the killing of Kitterman, who was found stabbed to death in the Pine Creek area, south of Tonasket.

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