In an emotional courtroom proceeding in which the parents of his murder victim damned and threatened him, Charles E. Corliss today was sentenced to nearly 75 years in prison.
Lois Starkenburg, mother of the slain Kimberly Starkenburg, told Corliss: "You murdered the light of my life . . . you disgusting old man."
"Do you have any idea what it's like to get a call from the medical examiner, to have your whole world fall apart?" demanded Starkenburg, who set two color portraits of her 23-year-old daughter on a courtroom table as she spoke.
Corliss, 51, of Kent, was convicted last month of the execution-style slaying in Fall City last October of Kimberly Starkenburg, of West Seattle, and of wounding Brenda Mhoni and April Williams.
According to testimony at the trial, Corliss shot the women at the cottage of his ex-lover, Tamara Farrington. Witnesses said Mhoni was moving into the cottage with Farrington and the other women were helping her.
In her courtroom remarks today, Lois Starkenburg said her daughter loved to help people and "had friends of all ages, from 2 to 80."
"She would have been married this spring and she wanted kids of her own. You, Charles Corliss, cheated her, her fiance and her family of all that and so much more."
Staring at his daughter's killer, Glenn Starkenburg told Corliss he expects to greet him in hell, but said if Corliss ever gets out of prison, "the Starkenburg family is planning a coming-out party for you."
King County Superior Court Judge Jim Bates ordered the longest sentence provided under the state's sentencing guidelines for the murder and attempted murders Corliss committed.
Farrington, who also spoke in court today, said Corliss had displayed the "thoughtlessness and viciousness of a rabid dog attacking." Farrington told Bates no punishment on Earth would be adequate for the crimes Corliss committed, adding "may his soul - if he has one - rot in hell for eternity."
In addition to the prison sentence of 74 years and eight months, Corliss was also ordered to pay $13,520 in restitution to his victims.
As he did at his trial, Corliss today professed his innocence, saying, "I was tried and convicted by the media before I ever stepped in this courtroom."
Corliss told Bates the murders were committed by a man who had helped put Corliss in prison for a murder in Montana. Corliss was on parole from that conviction at the time of the shootings in Fall City.
Jurors deliberated just under nine hours last month before convicting Corliss of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault.
Corliss, a former Montana resident, told jurors he was framed. He admitted he was at the cottage that day, but said he left before the shootings occurred.
Corliss blamed the attack on an angry drug dealer, who Corliss said was seeking revenge against Farrington for an unpaid narcotics deal.
Lois Starkenburg told reporters outside the courtroom, "He got what he deserves. Death's too good for him. I hope he stays in there until he's dead."