Tristain Frye Plea Agreement

Case Number: 03-1-01463-1

Date: March 9, 2009



Plaintiff, CAUSE NO. 03-1-01463-1 9




COMES NOW the Plaintiff, State of Washington, by and through its attorneys, Gerald Costello and Gregory L. Greer, Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys for Pierce County, and the defendant, Tristain Lynn Frye, byand through attorneys, John O’Melveny and Judy Mandell, and enter the following agreement. This agreement outlines an understanding ofthe parties by which the Tristain Lynn Frye (hereafter referred to as “defendant”) will provide truthful information and testimony regarding the circumstances of the assault/murder of victim Randall Townsend that occurred on or about March 26, 2003 at approximately 12:48 a.m. at the locationof under the 26th St. Bridge in the 100 Block of East 26th St., in Tacoma:

  1. The defendant must provide complete and truthful information at all times to the State, to detectives from the Tacoma Police Department, and to defense attorneys and/or investigators, regarding knowledge of the participants and circumstances surrounding the above mentioned assault/murder case. This information, to be considered truthful by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, must include specific and complete details about the assault/murder and each participant’s role, including her own, and any other information she has about the case. The defendant must not hold back any information in an attempt to protect herself or other people. A reasonable belief on the part of the deputy prosecuting attorney assigned to the case that the defendant is not being completely truthful will result in a violation of this agreement;

  2. The defendant must appear when requested for interviews or trial preparation by a deputy prosecuting attorney or a Tacoma Police Department detective, at a location and time designated by them, and defendant’s attomey(s) shall be notified and have the right to be present for all interviews, by any persons;

  3. The defendant must submit to a polygraph test, if requested by a deputy prosecutor, to assist the deputy prosecutor in determining the truthfulness of her potential trial testimony. If a polygraph test is requested, the polygraph operator :: will be selected by mutual agreement between the deputy prosecutor and 17 defendant’s attorneys.

  4. The defendant must testify truthfully and fully at the trial or trials of codefendants, David Nikos Pillatos (O3-l-01462-3), Kurtis William Monschke (O3—l-01464-0) and Scotty James Butters (O3—l-01441-l). Truthfulness will be determined by considering the defendant’s testimony in light of the defendant’s tape—recorded offer of proof. The tape-recorded offer of proof is to be accomplished prior to this plea agreement being effective and fully binding on the parties. To determine truthfulness of the tape—recorded statement, that information will be compared to the other witnesses’/participants’ statements to law enforcement, the credibility of those witnesses, the physical evidence, and the defendant’s memory of the event. A reasonable belief on the part of the deputy prosecuting attorney that the defendant is not being completely truthful during her trial testimony will result in a violation of this agreement. A reasonable belief on the part of the deputy prosecuting attorneys that the defendant is not being completely truthful during her tape-recorded offer of proof will mean that neither party is bound by this agreement. If defendant’s offer of proof is determined to be untruthful and this agreement is therefore not binding, then pursuant to ER 410, defendant’s statements made during her offer of proof may not be used against her at trial;

  5. The defendant must plead guilty to an amended information charging her with one count of intentional Murder in the Second Degree in the above captioned case, which arose from her involvement in the assault/murder case. The defendant will agree to set over sentencing until after the trial or trials of the above-named co-defendants and will agree to be held in custody until such testimony is complete.

Upon the condition that the defendant performs the promises enumerated above in their entirety, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office agrees to:

(a) Amend the information in Pierce County Superior Court under this case number to charge one count of Murder in the Second Degree. The parties would agree that the defendant’s offender score would be 4 points with a corresponding standard range of 165-265 months incarceration in a Department of Corrections Facility.

(b) The State agrees to fully and completely, in good faith, explain to the victim’s family members its rationale for entering into this agreement, and will use its best efforts to ensure their full understanding of its terms.

(c) At sentencing, the State will recommend that the defendant be sentenced to 165 months. All other conditions will be standard and will include $500 Crime Victims Compensation, $110 court costs, $100 DNA fee, Restitution, and 24 to 48 months community custody;

(d) The defendant may argue for an exceptional sentence downward of the 1 1 standard range and the State will not take an active role in opposing this 12 request. However, the defendant understands that the State will actively 13 support its position that 165 months is the appropriate sentence and will 14 urge the court to follow the State’s recommendation.

The defendant understands that the State will not tolerate deception from her, regardless of whether the untruthfulness helps or hurts the State’s case. The defendant further understands that any failure to perform any of her promises or obligations truthfully or honestly under this agreement relieves the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office from being required to perform any obligation pursuant to this agreement. The defendant further understands that her plea will be vacated and she will face the original charges and any other charges related to this assault/murder in the event that she fails to perform any of her obligations and promises contained in this agreement.

The defendant also understands that the judge is not bound by this agreement or by the prosecutor’s recommendation and could sentence her to any lawful sentence regardless of the level of her cooperation.

The parties understand that if all of the other above-mentioned codefendants do not go to trial, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office will still follow this agreement. The parties also understand that if there are separate or multiple trials involving the above-mentioned co-defendants, the parties are still bound by this agreement and the defendant must testify according to the above—stated conditions at any and all trials or sentencing hearings occurring involving these co-defendants and the respective case numbers associated with this case.

DATED this 18th day of February, 2004

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Case Number: 03-1-01463-1

Date: March 9, 2009



Plaintiff, CAUSE NO. 03-1-01463-1 9





The State requests the Court to consider accepting a plea to the filing of an Amended Information pursuant to RCW 9.94A.43l for the following reasons:

The State is asking this court to accept an amended information that reduces the charge of aggravated murder – first degree, to murder in the second degree, on conditions as outlined in the separately filed “plea agreement.”

This proposed disposition is not being offered because of any perceived major difficulties in proving any element of the crime. Rather, the State is offering this reduction in the interests of justice.

The State has charged Frye and her co-defendants with committing a senseless and brutal murder. This crime was committed by individuals who believed in fact that by murdering a person they considered to be a “parasite” to our community, Frye would gain a heightened status in the white supremacy movement.

After almost a year of continuing investigation and the compilation of almost 6,000 pages of discovery, the State now has a clear understanding of the details of the murder, including acts of each defendant leading to the death of Randall Townsend. This investigation also now includes a recent and lengthy, tape-recorded statement given by Frye concerning the details of the murder. It is after working with all of the evidence for such a lengthy period of time that the State has become even more convinced of the truth of its charge and the course it now must take in this case.

The reason Frye is being offered this reduction is because of (1) her reluctance to participate in the crime; (2) the substantially lower level of her culpability in committing the crime as compared to her co-defendants; (3) the difference in the amount of physical harm she inflicted on Mr. Townsend as compared to her co-defendants; (4) her remorse and horror expressed from shortly after the murder was committed to present; and, (5) her willingness to take responsibility for her actions and to cooperate in the prosecution of her co-defendants.

In brief detail, Frye has told the State, and the investigation confirms, that Frye was the first of the four charged defendants to encounter Mr. Townsend (hereafter referred to as the “victim”). The victim came upon Frye as she was drinking beer in the general vicinity of the subsequent murder. Frye had become separated from the other codefendants. The victim approached Frye as she was drinking a beer and began speaking with her. He asked for a “swig” of her beer and she gave him the remainder. The two then began smoking cigarettes.

Shortly after this, the victim walked away, toward some railroad tracks, where he encountered defendants Butters and Pillatos. Butters spoke briefly with the victim who soon became afraid and tried to run away. The victim had run a very short distance when he looked back to see if he was being followed. As he did so, Butters, having pursued him, struck him in the side of the head with a baseball bat. The blow was so hard that the bat broke and the victim was rendered apparently unconscious. Frye’s response to witnessing this act was to freeze, as if in shock.

As the victim lay unconscious on his back, Butters and Pillatos stood on each side of him and violently kicked his head back and forth between them with a force Frye has described as, “as hard as they could.” Butters and Pillatos were wearing steel-toed boots. This went on for about a minute before Pillatos noticed a small boulder-sized rock. Pillatos picked up the heavy rock, raised it above his head, and then threw it forcefully straight down onto Mr. Townsend’s face, hitting him in the mouth and nose region. Frye witnessed these acts from a distance of about 15 feet and remained frozen and in shock.

After this act, Butters grabbed the victim under his arms, Pillatos grabbed him by his legs, and they carried him to the nearby railroad tracks. Based on Frye’s statement, together with independent evidence, it is believed that Butters and Pillatos positioned the victim’s body by ’ placing him face down across the railings of the track. The victim’s face was positioned on one of the rails with his mouth wide open, as if he was biting the rail. it is firmly believed that Butters and Pillatos next performed what is known as a “curb stomp” on the victim; they stomped on the back of the victim‘s head several times with the heel of their boots, to ensure his death.

After this act, Butters, Pillatos and Frye walked further up the tracks in order to find defendant Monschke. As they walked, Butters kept repeating that he had “killed that guy.” Pillatos ran ahead and located Monschke. The four defendants then returned quickly to where the victim had been left, with Butters and Monschke running slightly ahead. Pillatos and Frye soon arrived at the scene where they found the victim now on his back, gurgling blood and – apparently still alive. Monschke then brutally beat the victim over and over in the face with a baseball bat and, according to Frye, “finished him off.” Either Butters or Monschke, or both, had turned the victim over onto his back before Monschke began this final attack.

lt was at this time that Pillatos informed Frye that she must also kick the victim. Frye stated she couldn’t do it; however, Pillatos grabbed her from behind her neck and forced her to walk up to the victim. He then covered her eyes with his hand and told her to kick — and she did. Frye kicked the victim in the head three or four times with such force that her knee hurt the next day.

The four defendants then left.

The King County medical examiner who performed the autopsy has been interviewed extensively and his opinion of the manner and method of the victim’s death is wholly consistent with the State’s accounting of the crime as described above.

Additionally, the forensic evidence, including DNA test results and blood spatter expert analysis and opinion, all are consistent with the State’s above-stated accounting of the murder.

Frye and her co-defendants were arrested within days of the murder of the victim. Frye initially invoked her right to remain silent and it was not until last week that she was formally interviewed and spoke in detail of the killing of the victim. Her statement ties up many of the State’s remaining questions in this case and the State is convinced she told the entire truth.

This court is aware that, since their incarceration, the prosecutor’s office has been with the defendants’ incoming and outgoing, non-legal mail. Every one of these defendants’ letters, consisting of several thousand pages, has been read. Upon being incarcerated, and long before she knew her mail was being read by authorities involved in prosecuting her, Frye wrote of her remorse and sorrow for the victim’s death. She wrote that he did not deserve to die. She also frequently wrote of her nightmares and the horror she was experiencing in having to relive the murder in her mind.

lt is the State’s assessment that Frye is truly remorseful for her actions. The State also firmly believes that before Frye became romantically involved with Pillatos a few months before the murder, involvement in such a horrendous crime would not have been in her character or future.

A review of the evidence of Frye’s involvement in the white supremacy movement reveals that it was Pillatos who held the views associated with the movement. Frye did not voice her objection to her boyfriend’s views, lifestyle and culture. The minimal evidence of F rye’s participation and level of involvement in the white supremacy movement is in stark contrast to the involvement of all the other charged defendants.

Significantly, Frye has entered into a plea agreement that requires her to fully cooperate with the prosecution in its preparation for the prosecution of the remaining co-defendants,- and a requirement that she testify fully and truthfully at their trials and/or sentencing hearings. Her testimony will bring direct evidence of the entire murder, including evidence regarding the various defendants’ motivations for the murder.

On Friday, February 20, 2004, I spent three hours discussing this proposed disposition with the victim’s sister and her husband. They are very educated and intelligent people and fully understand the reasons for the State’s willingness to make the offer to Frye and they trust our judgment. Date: 2/:24/04

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