A man whose murder conviction in the 2008 stabbing death of a man outside a Spanaway lounge was overturned on appeal pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charged and was ordered to be released from jail.
Michael McCreven, 50, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the death of Dana Beaudine, 38.
McCreven became the third person n the case to strike a deal with prosecutors that saw them released from incarceration on reduced charges in exchange for their testimony against their co-defendants.
McCreven is to be sentenced in May, but that will be a mere formality because he's already served more prison time than what's called for at the high end of the standard range for a second-degree manslaughter conviction.
A Pierce County jury originally convicted McCreven, Terry Nolan, Barry Ford and Carl Smith of second-degree murder in Beaudine's death.
Prosecutors had argued that the four attacked Beaudine on April 5, 2008, beat him and stabbed him after he made a disparaging remark about a motorcycle club with which they were affiliated.
The defendants argued they were defending themselves against Beaudine, who instigated a fight.
The joint trial was long and contentious, with supporters of the defendants arguing they'd been railroaded.
Nolan was sentenced to 16 years in prison, McCreven to 22 years, Ford to 13 years and Smith to 35 years.
But the state Court of Appeals overturned their convictions in 2012, saying they didn't get a fair trial because Superior Court Judge Brian Tollefson allowed too much evidence about their motorcycle gang affiliation into the trial and not properly instructing the jury on self defense.
McCreven, Ford and Nolan since have made deals with prosecutors.
Ford pleaded guilty in November to attempted rendering criminal assistance and Nolan to second-degree assault. Both have been released from jail pending sentencing, but both are expected to receive credit for time served.
Smith remains charged with second-degree murder and is scheduled to go to trial later this month.