Port Orchard – The first of six people accused of aiding a man who shot and killed Washington State Patrol trooper Tony Radulescu on Feb. 23 was sentenced Wednesday to a year in the Kitsap County Jail.
Prosecutors accused Steven Michael B. Banks, 43, of aiding the getaway efforts of Joshua Blake, who authorities believe killed Radulescu after the trooper stopped Banks’ truck just outside Gorst on state Route 16.
After the shooting, Blake arrived at the house on Scofield Road where Banks lived. Prosecutors believe Banks knew Blake was in trouble with law enforcement but didn’t know about the shooting, and tried to get him to leave the property.
Banks pleaded guilty to the gross misdemeanor of second-degree rendering criminal assistance. Prosecutors and Banks’ attorney recommended he serve four months.
Gina Miller, Radulescu’s girlfriend, asked District Court Judge Jeffrey Jahns for a yearlong sentence.
“The thought of what you have done disgusts me,” Miller told Banks.
She showed him a wooden box containing Radulescu’s ashes and said, “This is all I have left of him.”
After reviewing Banks’ criminal history, Jahns sentenced Banks to the maximum penalty available.
He noted Banks was not amenable to treatment and said his criminal history, which includes an attempt to elude police, indicated his “instincts” were to run from the law.
“Your actions are outrageous,” Jahns said.
Banks, appearing via closed circuit television from inside the jail, did not speak before Jahns handed down the sentence. But he spoke up after.
“I never met Mr. Blake,” Banks said. “ I told Mr. Blake to leave, that’s all.”
A letter from Radulescu’s parents was read during the hearing, and friends and family came to the sentencing, some dressed in white T-shirts bearing the State Patrol badge and the trooper’s badge number, 557.
State Patrol troopers, including Bremerton-based District 8 Capt. Bob Johnson, also attended.
Five other people suspected of helping Blake remain in jail, awaiting trial.