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UPDATED: Jury convicts woman in last year’s Craigslist slaying

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 14, 2011 at 9:11 am |
April 14, 2011 11:01 am
Amanda Knight

A Pierce County jury has convicted a 22-year-old woman accused of taking part in a home-invasion robbery last year that killed an Edgewood father and terrorized his family.

The jury’s verdict was announced this morning. The jurors found Amanda Knight guilty as charged of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree assault.

Knight is scheduled to be sentenced May 13. She faces more than 50 years in prison.

Knight is the second principal defendant to be convicted in the slaying of Jim Sanders, 43. Last month, a different jury convicted Kiyoshi Higashi, 23, of similar charges. He was sentenced to nearly 124 years in prison.

Two other men – Clabon Berniard and Joshua Reese – have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and await trial.

Prosecutors alleged Knight and Higashi went to the Sanders’ Edgewood home the night of April 28, 2010, after Jim Sanders advertised a diamond ring for sale on Craigslist. Knight and Higashi posed as buyers and, after they were let inside the home, Higashi pulled out a gun.

Jim Sanders and his wife, Charlene, were tied up. Berniard and Reese were let in the house and rounded up the Sanders’ two sons at gunpoint, court documents state.

Jim and Charlene Sanders were beaten and threatened with death. He eventually broke free and was fatally shot when he fought with the robbers.

The robbers fled the house with jewelry, a laptop computer, cellphones and other items.

Knight’s trial lasted a little over a week. Attorneys delivered closing arguments Wednesday morning and jurors started their deliberations in the afternoon. They reached their verdict at the end of the day.

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