One-year sentence for whiskey death of Muckleshoot 13-year-old 5-28-07

SEATTLE (AP) - A man who bought whiskey for the 13-year-old son of a friend and did little to keep the youngster from drinking enough to kill himself has been sentenced to a year behind bars, essentially time served.

Leonard L. Wayne III, 41, was released from custody after being sentenced Friday to an unusually short term for second-degree manslaughter in a plea agreement that was supported by relatives of the boy, Kenneth Elkins. He and the boy's family are Muckleshoot tribal members.

Wayne pleaded guilty and faced a standard sentencing range of three years and 10 months to five years and one month, but the boy's family felt a longer sentence would “not bring their son back,” King County Deputy Prosecutor E. Bradford Bales said.

Superior Court Judge James D. Cayce ordered Wayne to enter alcoholism treatment, submit to community supervision and speak to Muckleshoot young people about the dangers of underage drinking.

“I feel bad. I feel really bad,” Wayne said after leaving the courtroom with his sister, fiancee and a niece. “This is probably going to change my life. That kid kind of looked up to me.”

Investigators found the boy had been drinking whiskey with Wayne and other adults on the Muckleshoot reservation near Auburn before he died on April 16, 2006, with a blood-alcohol level of 0.37 percent, more than four times the legal threshold for intoxication.

According to court documents filed by prosecutors, Wayne's daughter told authorities her father saw the boy gulping whiskey and chasing it with soda and told him to “slow down” but made no effort to stop him.