A 20-year-old man was sentenced Friday to decades in prison for fatally stabbing another man outside a Frederickson-area convenience store earlier this year.
Tyler Wallace pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Edward “Eddie” Anthony Pilotte II. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend gave him a high-end sentence of 20 years, four months in prison.
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Wallace’s mother, Sarah, told the court she had done “everything under the sun” to get her son help for his mental illness, which she said has been an issue since he was 8.
She asked the judge for leniency on her son’s behalf. She said he’s worth rehabilitating, but knows he needs to face consequences for what he did.
Wallace’s attorneys wrote the court that he’d been having paranoia, hallucinations and trouble with daily living tasks in the weeks before the March 5 stabbing.
“This deterioration culminated with Tyler Wallace fatally stabbing Edward Pilotte,” defense attorneys Joseph Evans and Alex Kirigin wrote in their sentencing memorandum.
They asked for a low-end sentence of 12 years, three months.
Evans told Arend that Wallace started using drugs, which made the symptoms of his mental illness worse. The mental health system, the attorney said, failed him.
There was a dispute between Wallace and Pilotte, and Wallace “certainly escalated what might have been a fistfight, at most,” Evans said.
Many of Pilotte’s loved ones wrote the court about their grief over his death.
He liked freestyling rapping, and often asked people to give him a word to start him off. He also loved working on cars, they said, and had been excited to join his uncle’s semi-professional drift racing team.
“It wasn’t a fight that went wrong,” his father, also named Edward Pilotte, said in court. “This guy premeditatedly murdered my child.”
The elder Pilotte told The News Tribune previously that he believed his son was killed while on his way to retrieve a baby bottle his new girlfriend left at a gas station.
According to charging papers:
A witness called 911 to report two men fighting outside the store in the 16100 block of Canyon Road East.
Bystanders saw Pilotte’s Acura Integra driving backwards in circles, and when they leaned inside to stop the car, they realized the driver was hurt.
Sheriff’s deputies responded, and found Pilotte slumped outside of the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wallace’s grandmother called 911 about that time to report Wallace had come home and was talking about possibly stabbing someone.
He spoke with dispatchers, and said it was self-defense. Deputies said they didn’t believe Pilotte threatened Wallace or tried to hurt him.
The two had argued in the past about a woman, and Wallace allegedly threatened Pilotte on Facebook.
On Friday, when Wallace addressed the court, he said: “I apologize deeply, because this is something that’s tragic.”
He said he realized Pilotte is gone, something he never wanted that to happen.
Before she sentenced Wallace, Arend said Pilotte clearly “had a bright future ahead of him.”
She noted that Wallace now has a medication regimen that is keeping him stable, but said she is concerned he could be at risk to reoffend, should he stop taking the medicine when he’s released.