2 suspects in fatal Tacoma stabbing appear in court
A mushroom sale that escalated into a fatal stabbing earlier this year in Tacoma sent two people to prison Thursday.
As part of negotiations with prosecutors, Addison Laine Bishop, 27, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and unlawful drug delivery in connection to the death of 27-year-old Tyler Zimmerman.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Ashcraft sentenced him to seven years in prison.
“This was a tragic case, and my client is very upset about what occurred that night,” defense attorney Joseph Evans told The News Tribune Friday.
Jordan Rene Boshears, 23, pleaded guilty to unlawful drug delivery and to second-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Judge Ashcraft sentenced her to a year in prison for the drug charge — most of which defense attorney Wayne Fricke told The News Tribune she’s already served.
She got another year suspended for the criminal assistance charge, which means she won’t have to serve that time if she avoids further trouble with the law.
“She understands that when people get involved in drugs, that things like what happened in this case can happen,” Fricke said. “She took responsibility for what she did. Nevertheless, she feels horrible for what happened.”
Charging papers give this account:
Zimmerman and a friend gave Bishop and Boshears $300 for mushrooms, but the buyers decided to cancel the deal when they saw the product Feb. 21 in the 6110 block of South Fawcett Avenue. Zimmerman refused to try the mushrooms to test their quality and wanted the money back.
He and Bishop fought when the deal fell through.
Zimmerman’s family told The News Tribune that Zimmerman was not the one buying the mushrooms, and that he was killed when he stepped in to protect his friend.
Boshears ran away as the fight started, and Bishop ultimately pulled a knife on Zimmerman, who officers found with a stab wound to his back. He died from his injuries at a hospital.
“This was a tragic event, and I will always be saddened by how it ended,” Bishop told The News Tribune in a statement Friday, sent through his attorney. “During the incident, I was being choked and felt I had no other choices in saving my own life. I take responsibility for my decisions that led to this tragedy. This will stay with me forever.”
Zimmerman’s friends and family wrote the court that they’ve been devastated by his death.
“He was a father, brother, son, and unfortunately he was addicted to drugs,” one wrote. “It’s upsetting that the last fact is probably the first thing the courts learned about him. ... Tyler fought these demons for almost 10 years. Sometimes it seemed like he was winning and somethings it was very clear he was losing.”
The letter went on to say that Zimmerman “was starting to finally get clean,” that he was excited about a new job he’d started and had many plans for the summer with his 7-year-old daughter.
Loved ones told the court Zimmerman was a good dad, loved his family, that his best friend was his husky, Theo, and that he liked gardening.
“My brother wasn’t perfect, but he had a big heart and cared for anyone who crossed paths with him,” one family member wrote. “... My family needs justice, my brother needs justice and we aren’t going to get that knowing that Bishop will only spend seven years in prison.”