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Originally published Friday, November 1, 2013 at 9:02 PM

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Violent abuser impassive as he’s sentenced to 30 years

Roosevelt Reed, a serial domestic-violence offender, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday for a vicious beating that nearly killed his victim, a 54-year-old Spokane woman who has undergone numerous surgeries and racked up nearly $250,000 in medical bills since the 2012 assault.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Roosevelt Reed didn’t express any remorse Friday as a judge handed down an exceptional sentence of 30 years for a vicious beating Reed meted out on his girlfriend in September 2012 — just four months after he was released from prison for cracking another woman’s skull with a cinder block.

“Mr. Reed is a violent, serial, domestic-violence offender,” said King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Shaya Calvo, as he outlined Reed’s criminal history. “This is the third domestic-violence victim he’s hurt severely.”

A jury convicted Reed of first-degree domestic-violence assault on Sept. 27. Jurors also returned special verdicts for two aggravators, finding that Reed is a repeat domestic-violence offender and that he committed the assault soon after his release from prison and while on community supervision.

Before going to trial, Reed had turned down a plea offer that would have seen him serve a 10-year sentence.

“Well, Mr. Reed has certainly been given many opportunities to turn his life around, and so far he’s failed,” said Judge James Cayce, rejecting a defense recommendation that Reed serve 20 years, the low end of the standard range.

In September 2012, Reed administered a “horrendous” beating and left his victim to die, the judge said, noting that Reed, 50, will be released from prison “probably close to your 80th birthday.”

In a show of either defiance or insolent disregard, Reed spun his chair so his back faced the 54-year-old victim as she addressed the court, her face puffy and bandaged and her eyelids stitched from her most recent surgery to correct the damage Reed inflicted.

Five metal plates are holding the Spokane woman’s face together, and her medical bills are nearing $250,000, she told Cayce, who ordered the news media not to photograph her. She suffers from memory loss and constant pain, and has no feeling in the right side of her face, said the woman, who asked not to be identified in order to protect her privacy.

“My life is different, now that I’ve knocked on death’s door,” she said. “I’ve seen hell ... but I crawled out of it and I lived.”

Reed, who was in the midst of serving a 15-year prison term for assaulting an earlier girlfriend, got a third party to reach out to the woman, the mother of his daughter with whom he had a five-year relationship that ended in the late 1980s, according to court records. She began visiting him at the Airway Heights Correctional Center near Spokane, where he was serving time for a 1999 assault in which he beat another girlfriend in the head with a large piece of concrete, the records say.

He had previously been imprisoned for a 1993 incident in which he smashed a different girlfriend’s windshield and stabbed her in the leg, according to the records.

When Reed was transferred to a correctional facility near Vancouver, Wash., in 2010, the woman moved from Spokane to Vancouver so she could continue visiting him, the records say. When she learned in August 2011 that Reed was to be granted work release in King County, she moved a second time, renting an apartment in Des Moines for the two to share, according to the records.

In April 2012, Reed was released into the community and soon began verbally and physically abusing the woman, who mentioned being assaulted to Reed’s community corrections officer, the records say.

The officer raised the issue of ongoing assaults during a probation meeting with Reed in September 2012 — and it was later that day that he attacked the woman, beating her so badly Reed thought he had killed her, according to the records.

He called his brother, who came to the apartment and urged Reed to call 911, the papers say.

Reed did so, but blamed the assault on an unknown intruder, court records say.

The woman, who has no memory of the “bloody beatdown,” said Friday that at the time, she was preparing to leave Reed and considered herself a victim of “breakup violence.”

“I know I should’ve been smart enough to catch on to his manipulative behavior years ago,” she said.

“You’re an excellent dream salesman. You tricked me ... I don’t feel sorry for you at all,” she told Reed.

Reed made a brief, mumbled statement, saying at one point, “I hope I get some type of relief.”

He initially requested that his sentencing be continued until he could get someone to collect and give him photos of his grandchildren and old letters written by his mother, but Cayce denied it.

Defense attorney Mary Ellen Ramey later asked that Reed be allowed to remain at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent for a couple more weeks. The judge said that decision now rests with the state Department of Corrections.

“You can’t sign an order?” Ramey asked.

“I won’t,” Cayce replied.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or



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