‘Three strikes’ law puts Fife gun thief behind bars for life

Staff writerJune 27, 2013 

A man Fife police believe helped plan the theft of more than 40 guns from a sporting goods store was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole under Washington’s “three strikes you’re out” law.

Soeun Sun, 30, said nothing before Pierce County Superior Court Judge James Orlando handed down the sentence.

A jury earlier this month convicted Sun of six felonies, including the strike offense of first-degree burglary for his role in the December 2011 break-in at the Sportco/Farwest Sports shop. Two thieves made off with 41 firearms. Detectives believe Sun later tried to sell many of the guns.

Sun’s lawyer, Robert Quillian, argued before sentencing that a life sentence was inappropriate because prosecutors did not formally notify his client that life without parole was a possibility.

Deputy prosecutor Greg Greer countered that nothing in the law requires such notification and added he had told Quillian during informal talks before trial that such a sentence was possible for Sun.

Orlando sided with Greer and said he had no choice but to sentence Sun to life. Sun has previous strike convictions for robbery and assault.

“This is a sad day for everybody,” Quillian said.

Sun plans to appeal. He has complained that his right to a speedy trial and an effective lawyer were violated.

Sun was one of 10 men charged in the case. Eight have been convicted, one awaits trial and the last is still on the loose.

Authorities have retrieved nine guns taken in the robbery, including one that allegedly was used during a carjacking in Connecticut.

Orlando chastised Sun for not working with prosecutors on a plea deal that could have spared him the life sentence.

“There are lots of ways you could have resolved this case without going through this,” the judge said.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644

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