A Pierce County judge sentenced a woman to more than 20 years in prison in the stabbing death of her mother during an argument last year.
Laura Jennette Jonston, 21, pleaded guilty last month to one count of second-degree murder in the death of Shirly Miluk, 60. She faced 12 to 20 years in prison during her sentencing hearing this morning.
Jonston argued she’d been a battered child and was protecting herself and her young daughter the night of Feb. 20, 2009. Prosecutors alleged Jonston stabbed Miluk at least nine times in the mother’s Sumner apartment.
Jonston told investigators she and her mother had argued after Miluk decided to kick Jonston out. The argument turned physical.
Jonston said her mother attacked her with a lamp, jar and decorative rooster. Jonston said she stabbed her mother once, then the argument subsided and the two hugged.
The argument later heated up again and Jonston stabbed her mother again, court documents state.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck told Jonston that she and society would be best served if she served the longest possible sentence in prison. Van Doorninck sentenced to the high-end of the sentencing range – 20 years, four months.
Staff writer Adam Lynn was at the sentencing hearing and will provide a more detailed report in Friday’s News Tribune.