Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lawyer pleads guilty to murdering courtroom rival


A disgraced lawyer already convicted of shooting his opposing counsel has pleaded guilty to murder.

Nearly three years have passed since Mill Creek attorney William Joice was convicted of attempted murder for the Nov. 3, 2004, shooting of Kevin Jung.

Joice fired at Jung three times from close range striking his target once in the head. Joice then drove off planning to make a 10 a.m. court appearance in Everett.

In December 2005, a King County jury took barely 30 minutes to convict Joice of attempted murder in the first degree and 13 minutes more to decide it was an aggravated crime.

He was sentenced to 32 years in prison, an exceptionally long sentence for the charges against him.

Days after Joice was sentenced, Jung succumbed to the massive head trauma caused by the bullet Joice fired.

On Tuesday, Joice pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, according to court documents.

As part of a plea agreement, Joice, now 54, received the same sentence given to him under the earlier charge.

King County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Donohoe said Joice also agreed to withdraw his appeal currently before the state Supreme Court.

Joice and Jung opposed each other in a commercial lawsuit filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

At his earlier sentencing, Joice told the judge he'd fallen behind in his work and was losing his case to Jung.

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