A man charged with shooting his girlfriend’s son in Tacoma this year has been sentenced to 10 years, three months in prison.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge G. Helen Whitener gave 45-year-old Marcus Nelson the high-end sentence Dec. 2 after he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault.
The son, then 23, told investigators he woke April 6 to find Nelson and another man, 23-year-old Steven Kusander, standing over his bed with a pistol.
They shot the victim in the wrist, both thighs and his abdomen, according to charging papers.
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Kusander pleaded guilty to second-degree assault Nov. 16, and Whitener gave him a sentence of five years, higher than the standard range.
Prosecutors said Nelson was upset about the son pawning a power tool, and Kusander was angry the son had taken a necklace that belonged to Kusander’s late father.
Kusander’s aunt, Cherie Morgan, wrote the court that Kusander had not been in serious trouble previously.
“He has just lost his way, I believe, in the aftermath of his father’s death,” she wrote. “Steven has some learning disabilities, and he is also very susceptible to persuasion of others.”
The victim’s mother, Louise Palazzo, wrote the court that she and her son had suffered extreme anxiety after the shooting.
“Every day I look at my son and talk to him, I am so incredibly relieved that he is alive and somewhat safe,” she wrote.