Guilty pleas entered by Mullan for Wedgwood DUI/vehicular homicides

At a hearing this morning at the King County Courthouse, Mark Mullan pleaded guilty to all charges against him for the DUI crash on March 25 that killed Judy and Dennis Schulte and severely injured Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and her newborn son, Elias.

Mullan was charged on April 11 with two counts vehicular homicide, two counts vehicular assault, and one count reckless driving. He entered a plea of not guilty at that time.

 

 

Under the plea deal, Mullan would face a range of 14-18 years in jail.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 15.

 

Dan Schulte and his sister, Marilyn, were at the hearing, and will speak to reporters after. We’ll add footage here when it becomes available.

Dan and Marilyn Schulte give a statement to the media after this morning's plea hearing. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg stands behind them.

Dan and Marilyn Schulte give a statement to the media after this morning’s plea hearing. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg stands behind them. Photo courtesy @joshtrujillo.

UPDATE: A statement from the King County Prosecutor’s office:

Guilty Plea in State v. Mark Mullan: Repeat drunk driver Mark W. Mullan pleaded guilty this morning as charged to four felony charges for a drunk driving collision that killed two grandparents and seriously injured their daughter-in-law and infant grandson in Seattle’s Wedgewood neighborhood on March 25. Mullan pleaded guilty to two counts each of Vehicular Homicide (DUI) and Vehicular Assault (DUI), and violation of an Ignition Interlock Device order. The collision killed Judy and Dennis Schulte. Their daughter-in-law Karina Ulriksen-Schulte and grandson Elias, who was 10 days old, were seriously injured are still recovering from their injuries. Mullan, 51, faces a sentence range of 14 to 18 years in prison, which includes a 24-month sentencing enhancement stemming from his prior conviction for drunk driving in Seattle Municipal Court. Prosecutors will recommend a top of the range sentence of 18 years in prison when Mullan is sentenced on November 15 at 1:45 p.m. before Judge Barbara Linde at the King County Courthouse.

“This heartbreaking case led to some overdue changes in the law, thanks in part to the courage of the family,” said Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney. “The defendant today pled guilty as charged to the top end of the sentencing range,” he added, “and the plea brings finality and closure to the case, and will keep the defendant in prison, and the public safer, for many years to come,” he said.

Satterberg along with other county prosecutors pushed for tougher sentences for vehicular homicide (DUI) in the 2012 legislative session. The Legislature approved a bill that doubled the standard range for vehicular homicide (DUI), making it equal to a sentence for manslaughter first degree. Under the old range, Mullan’s sentence would have been approximately 7 ½ to 9 ½ years instead of the 14 to 18 years that he faces today.

Comments

  1. says

    Too much suffering to bear. I drive on the newly slowed down 75th and think– oh if only that man was drunk and behind a car going 25 mph instead of 40– lives could be spared.

    But we cannot go back. Sending light and love all around.

    Timothy

  2. says

    I drive 75th everyday too and still physically ache driving past there. It is unfathomable what preciousness can be destroyed by reckless carelessness. I am thankful Mom and Baby’s lives were spared but they’ll never know the continuity of joy that illuminated them seconds before this incident. It will continue to be hard. My prayers and condolences to this family. I know their grief can’t last forever and I wish them untold sources of many new joys to come.

  3. Ann Carter says

    As friends of the family over long years, eighteen years is certainly NOT enough time for the havoc that has been wreaked by this irresponsible man. I pray he will never drive again.

  4. Richard Fuhr says

    If Mark Mullan is ever released from prison, there is a huge risk that he will drive drunk again, regardless of any court orders. We have tragically seen the useless effect of court orders in the past. Mark Mullan ignored the court orders to have ignition interlock devices installed on all his vehicles, and those responsible for seeing that these orders were carried out ignored their duties. Later, Mark Mullan’s driver’s license was suspended, so he was prohibited by law from driving, yet he ignored those orders and drove anyway, with horrible results. Therefore, Mark Mullan has to be physically restrained from driving for the rest of his life, and the only sure way to do this is to keep him in prison. If Mullan is released in 18 years, he will be only 69 years old, and what is to stop him from driving drunk again and causing even more tragedies? While there is some chance that Mark Mullan will “turn his life around” his past history shows that the chances of that are not worth the risk to the community. We need to find a way to keep him locked up for the rest of his life.

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