Man who had life sentence commuted now facing murder charge

The Associated Press

KENT — A man who had a life sentence commuted by former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is facing a new murder charge.

The King County prosecutor’s office has accused Stonney Marcus Rivers, 50, of murder and assault for the shooting death of a man in a Kent motel room in early November.

Authorities said Rivers fatally shot David Alonso Cabrera in the head Nov. 2 after demanding drugs inside a Golden Kent Motel room.

Rivers also is accused of assaulting Cabrera’s girlfriend with a semi-automatic handgun.

If convicted, Rivers could face another life sentence without the possibility of parole.

He’s being held without bail.

His attorney didn’t immediately respond for comment.

Gregoire had commuted Rivers’ previous life sentence in 2013 in her final days in office.

Rivers was released in 2015 after 20 years in prison for a third “strike” or violent crime conviction in 1995.

His most serious offenses date back to 1985 and include five convictions for attempted robbery, robbery and assault.

Prosecutors said he’s also had 21 prior misdemeanor convictions, including six for assault.

In a statement to the Seattle Times, Gregoire said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, members of the state Clemency and Pardons Board and the judge who sentenced Rivers to life in prison had recommended Rivers’ sentence be commuted, which “carried great weight” in her decision.

In court documents in the latest case, Satterberg’s office wrote: “Rivers continues to commit crimes, even when he is on community custody and even after being given a once-in-a-lifetime second chance through a governor’s commutation.”

Kent police said Rivers turned himself in Nov. 11 following a felony warrant for his arrest.

He reportedly acknowledged being at the motel that day looking for crystal meth but that he didn’t know “it was serious” or that anyone was dead.

Investigators had traced Rivers and co-defendant Theneious Fixteral Swafford, 47, to the attempted robbery using the motel’s surveillance video, a Lexus at the scene that had been on loan from an area dealership and social media accounts.

Police said Swafford had visited Cabrera on the same day as Rivers, and that the two had been together at the scene.

If convicted, this would mark Swafford’s third “strike.”