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Seattle talk show host's killer pleads guilty
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Seattle talk show host's killer pleads guilty
by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Scott Brian White pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a plea deal arranged with prosecutors June 4 in court. White is accused of killing Seattle radio talk show host Mike Webb in 2007. King County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramdsdell heard the plea.

According to White's confession, he was living with the 51-year-old KIRO Radio host in the months leading up to the murder. He was taken into custody after police found Web's dismembered body in the crawlspace under his Queen Anne home. Webb had been missing for two months before his remains were found in June 2007; White admitted that the killing occurred sometime between April 13 and April 15, 2007. He'd brutally murdered Webb with an axe.

In the weeks following the murder, after he'd hid the body, White text-messaged Webb's friends and family posing as Webb, saying he was out of town. He reportedly pawned some of Webb's personal items and used his debit card.

When White was taken into custody, he was charged with first-degree murder. In the weeks that followed, his mental health was called into question, and his attorneys prepared to make an insanity defense. Prosecutors said a reduced charge was needed in order to resolve the case.

According to Don Raz, senior deputy prosecutor, White's psychiatric condition - schizoaffective disorder, a condition that can include episodes of severe psychosis when untreated - and drug use at the time of the killing prompted his psychiatrists to conclude he was likely unable to plan a murder. Premeditation is required for a first-degree murder conviction.

"Premeditation probably didn't occur in this case," Raz said.

Defense attorney Julie Lawry said Webb and White met at an addiction-recovery group. In the weeks leading up to Webb's death, the talk-show host was sharing drugs with White, she said.

Following a 2005 car crash, friends say Webb had been struggling with personal problems. He'd been fired from his 10-year job as a late-night liberal host at KIRO-AM/710 for making a false insurance claim after the car crash. He continued to work online after his departure from the station.

Lawry said her client accepts responsibility for the killing and believes White's chances of acquittal at trial were strong. He entered the guilty plea, she said, to see the case resolved quickly.

White is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10. Lawry said she will ask for a 10-year term; prosecutors are seeking a 12-year sentence.
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