Aug. 20—A 20-year-old woman will spend five years in prison after accidentally shooting a teen at a Spokane house party in 2020.
Jaliauna S. Templeton shot 18-year-old Daunte O. Frazier after dancing with a pistol in one hand and holding her cellphone in the other, according to court documents.
Templeton pleaded to first-degree manslaughter in March.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold Clarke III handed down the five-year sentence Friday to a distraught and remorseful Templeton. Clarke said he sentenced her below the 61/2- to 81/2-year standard sentencing range because of Templeton's age (she was 18 at the time) and other factors.
"I just want to say that I'm sorry," Templeton said through tears while sitting next to her attorney, David Partovi.
Officers found Frazier dead inside a residence at 2011 N. Jefferson St. in the Emerson-Garfield neighborhood early in the morning on Dec. 2, 2020.
One of the teens at the party told police he heard a gunshot while outside and found Frazier bleeding from the head when he went back inside. He said he saw one girl holding Frazier and screaming. He and the girl tried reviving Frazier, documents said.
Videos and photos from one of the teen's cellphones showed the teenagers dancing and drinking hard liquor while pointing guns at each other.
One witness said she heard a loud bang shortly after she put a gun down, court records said. She said she saw Templeton standing with the gun still in her hand and Frazier fell to the floor with what appeared to be a gunshot to his head. The witness said Templeton dropped the gun and collapsed to her knees next to Frazier.
"It's pretty clear to me that this was an incident that resulted from reckless conduct," Spokane County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Preston McCollam said.
Partovi said Templeton decided to accept responsibility and did not want to put Frazier's family through trial.
"She really is deeply hurt by this event," Partovi said.
That appeared to be evident by Templeton's demeanor throughout Friday's roughly one-hour proceeding. She was choking back tears or crying the entire time. Many supporters of Templeton sat behind her. A couple of them covered their faces and cried after Clarke handed down the sentence.
Millini Goodman, a victim advocate at Lutheran Community Services Northwest in Spokane, read an impact statement on behalf of Frazier's mother, Shaneka Frazier, who attended Friday's sentencing via Zoom.
She said her son was very smart, averaging a 3.7 grade-point average in school, and an athlete. She also called him a "mama's boy."
"He cherished every moment with me until his last breath," Shaneka Frazier said.
She said her son became a father in 2020.
"He was excited about life and becoming a father," she said.
She said he thought his life was just beginning, but "a young, irresponsible woman who enjoyed playing with guns" took her son's life with a bullet. She said he lost his opportunity to be a father and live an adult life.
Brandi Langhofer, who works at NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101, said she got to know Templeton the last five years at the program.
"She is one of the most loyal people and one of the most kind and caring people I have worked with, especially as a young adult," Langhofer told the court.
She said Templeton has probably suffered the most, besides the victim's family. She said Templeton's ability to engage in things and find joy in life are not present, and she needs help to deal with the tragic event.
"She doesn't have a bad heart," Langhofer said. "She was unlucky. She was stupid."
Shaneka Frazier asked Clarke to impose the maximum sentence allowed.
McCollam asked for a sentence inside the 61/2 to 81/2-year standard range, but for Clarke to consider the "hallmarks of youthfulness," including immaturity, failure to appreciate risks and consequences, family circumstances, peer pressure and other factors. Clarke ultimately considered those factors and imposed the "exceptional sentence" below the standard range.
Partovi recommended three years in prison because Templeton told him she deserved at least three years.
Templeton, who has no prior felonies, will serve 36 months of community custody when she is released from prison. She was not in custody during Friday's proceedings but was taken to jail immediately after sentencing.
In May, Templeton may have been the target of a drive-by shooting in response to the fatal shooting of Daunte Frazier.
Duane G. Delaney, 19, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, drive-by shooting and other felony charges for the May 14 shooting across the street from the home where Frazier died.
Court documents suggested Delaney and Frazier are cousins.
Templeton and Ashlynn Tibbetts were standing near the car that had been struck by two bullets, according to documents. The pair had to duck to avoid being shot, records said.