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Man who gunned down Seattle art teacher on street sentenced to 34 years in prison

Art teacher Brent McDonald, 49, was gunned down on a Seattle street last December.

Art teacher Brent McDonald, 49, was gunned down on a Seattle street last December.

SEATTLE (AP) — A 55-year-old Seattle man has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for the murder of an art teacher.

The Seattle Times reports that Richard Roundtree, who also goes by the name Richard Whitaker, was sentenced Tuesday in the December shooting. Brent McDonald, a 49-year-old teacher, was killed around 3 a.m. Dec. 12, 2015.

Prosecutors said at trial that McDonald’s chance meeting with Roundtree and his girlfriend on a downtown Seattle street was captured by a video-surveillance camera. Prosecutors say it didn’t show any kind of argument between the two men.

The video showed Roundtree pull a gun and shoot McDonald, then flee with his girlfriend in a car.

Roundtree had claimed self-defense but the jury didn’t believe his account that McDonald had been behaving aggressively, prompting Roundtree to shoot.

“He was very gentle and kind and strong and a really fine teacher,” former co-worker Claudia Stelle said of McDonald after his death.

On Dec. 12, 2015, Seattle Police were called to the 2100 block of 3rd Avenue after reports of gunshots.  Officers found McDonald lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound.  They performed CPR and he was transported to Harborview Medical Center, but didn’t make it.

“Some of us are so furious, again, about guns and the ability to have guns,” Marybeth Satterlee said at the time. “If they didn’t, Brent would probably be right here today.”

McDonald spent much of his time teaching art to middle school children at Coyote Central in the Central District.  He worked with nearly 700 students over the course of 10 years.

The artwork he created with his students can be found all over Seattle.

McDonald left behind his longtime partner and teenage daughter.