Judge adds years to murderer’s recommended sentence, declaring, ‘You will die in prison’

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TACOMA — A 49-year-old Tacoma man who apologized and expressed remorse for fatally shooting his wife last year got no sympathy from the judge at his Pierce County sentencing hearing Friday.

According to the News Tribune of Tacoma, Superior Court Judge  Katherine Stolz tossed out the recommended 29-year plea deal sentence for Darrin Brooks and instead sentenced him to 38 years. “You will die in prison,” she bluntly told him.

The News Tribune said Brooks pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Renee, during an argument on July 3, 2014.

At the sentencing hearing Friday, Brooks’ lawyer argued that Brooks deserved the plea deal sentence of 29 years because he admitted to the crime and spared his wife’s family a trial.

The News Tribune said Brooks got up and apologized for killing his wife and called her “a wonderful woman, mother and person. If I could exchange my life for hers today, I would in a heartbeat.”

He also reportedly told the court that he was in a dark place at the time, using drugs and alcohol. But the judge said she didn’t want to hear excuses and noted that Brooks had 20 prior convictions for various offenses.

According to the newspaper, Judge Stolz said, “You’ve basically spent much of your life in prison, and you’ve been heading toward dying in prison anyway. We’re just going to speed it up a little…”