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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

August 30, 2010 at 10:30 AM

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Shoreline man gets 10-year sentence for 2008 slaying

Posted by John de Leon

Gabriel Phipps, convicted of strangling another man and pushing his body out of a car in South Seattle in August 2008, was sentenced Monday morning to 10 years in prison.

A King County jury convicted Phipps of second-degree murder earlier this month at the end of his second trial. His first trial ended in a mistrial.

On Aug. 28, 2008, Phipps pushed Gary Seaman's body from a car in South Seattle, according to charging papers. Police were called to the scene and found Seaman, 62, with a ligature around his neck, court papers said.

An autopsy revealed that Seaman had been strangled.

A witness who saw Seaman's body being pushed from the car gave police the license plate number. Officers were led to Phipps, who was arrested, court papers said. The motive for the slaying was self-defense, according to defense attorneys for the Shoreline man

The King County judge in Phipps' first trial declared a mistrial after the jury was split 8-4 to convict in January.

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