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.
— Elisa Jaffe (@ElisaJaffe) October 3, 2013
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.
Mark Mullan,charged in Wedgwood DUI that critically hurt a mom and newborn and killed grandparents, at plea hearing pic.twitter.com/RuJGXKg9jR
— Jennifer Sullivan (@SeattleSullivan) October 3, 2013
Under the plea deal, Mullan would face a range of 14-18 years in jail.
#MarkMullan verbally declares guilty on each count, breaks down a bit. Now back in cuffs. He’ll be sentenced next month
— johnhopperstadQ13FOX (@JohnHopperstad) October 3, 2013
Sentencing is scheduled for November 15.
#BREAKING Prosecutors and Mullan’s attys agree to just over 18 years in prison for all 5 counts.
— Eric Wilkinson (@EricWilkinson) October 3, 2013
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.
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.