Crime

Man pleads guilty to raping, killing Tacoma toddler

Staff writerSeptember 9, 2013 

UPDATED as of 2:52 p.m.: Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said his office would seek a sentence of 60 years to life for Musga.

"Nothing shocks the conscience more than the murder of a child," Lindquist said. "We are asking the court for the functional equivalent of a life-sentence."

Musga admitted in plea paperwork that he killed Chayson because the toddler had urinated on him.

PREVIOUS POST: A man accused of plying a 2-year-old Tacoma boy with alcohol then raping and killing him pleaded guilty Monday morning to crimes that could keep him in prison for life.

Jake Musga, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree child rape in the death of Chayson Colley.

Chayson died in March.

Firefighters were called to the Commencement Terrace apartment complex, 29 St. Helens Avenue, about 4 a.m. March 30 by a witness who found a crying Musga holding a child “covered with bruises,” court records show.

The boy lived at Commencement Terrace with his mother, who worked as a leasing agent for the complex, and with Musga, court records show. The mother was out of the home attending a party and left her son with Musga.

Chayson was taken to the hospital where doctors said he showed no significant brain activity, had bleeding in his brain and stomach, had suffered a collapsed lung and bruising around his rectum, and registered a blood-alcohol level of .12, court records show. The legal limit for drivers in Washington is .08.

Pierce County prosecutors said Monday they will seek a sentence higher than the standard range for Musga, who they contend inflicted deliberate cruelty on a particularly vulnerable victim. A standard-range sentence on the murder charge would be 21 to 29 years.

But the child rape conviction could mean a life sentence for Musga. Under state sex-crime laws, Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff will set a minimum sentence for Musga, but it will be up to the state's Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to decide when, if ever, the defendant qualifies for release.

His sentencing date is Nov. 21.

 

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