O’Rourke sentenced 23 years for second degree murder
ASOTIN, WA —
Melvin O’Rourke was convicted of second degree murder earlier this month, after the 2015 shooting death of his friend, Duane Hettinger. Yesterday his fate was decided.
Prosecuting attorney Ben Nichols began, saying O'Rourke should be given the high end of the standard sentence, 280 months. Nichols said it was proven in trial that this was premeditated murder. "He retrieved a gun, put a magazine into the gun, cocked the gun, pointed the gun, steadied the gun, and pulled the trigger,” explained Nichols. “the only thing Mr. Hettinger ever said was, no."
Next, O'Rourke's brother got up, and in a surprising twist, sided with the prosecution. "I concur with the state and am requesting upper end sentencing,” he said.
O'Rourke's defense attorney Raymond "Vic" Bottomly said he has no prior felony convictions, and is not a danger to society. He said, “Given his physical circumstances, his Parkinson's, the fact that frankly his life expectancy is not projected to be very long."
Then, for over 40 minutes O'Rourke explained why he does not deserve a long sentence. He claimed he was unaware of the status of his defense, "The defense, before the prosecution had not let me know, two years ago, that their case had pretty much fallen apart," he said.
Judge Scott Gallina did not buy into his long plea for a light sentence, "I’m sentencing you to 280 months," said Judge Gallina. He explained it all boiled down to O'Rourke's lack of empathy. "I haven't heard one word of remorse out of your mouth."
O'Rourke now has 30 days to file an appeal for his sentence, if he chooses to.