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Tuba Man Killer Sentenced In Bellevue Nightclub Murder

A man convicted in the murder of Seattle’s beloved "Tuba Man" will serve more than 18 years in prison for a separate murder at a Bellevue nightclub.

In a packed courtroom in downtown Seattle, 21-year-old Ja’Marie Jones was sentenced in the fatal shooting DeShawnMilliken, 30, at a bar in Bellevue on Christmas Eve 2012. Jones pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and apologized to Milliken’s family.

Milliken’s mother, Wanda Montgomery, shed tears as she told the court how much she misses her son. She told Judge Regina Cahan that her son was her best friend and a wonderful father to his adopted daughter. Then, between sobs, Montgomery spoke directly to Jones.

“I pray when you get out of prison that you never, ever, pick up another gun and destroy a family the way you destroyed my family and the way you destroyed the family before mine. It’s two families that have been destroyed. And so I pray to God that you will change your life, that you will never kill again,” Montgomery said.

Back in October 2008, 16-year-old Jones and two others assaulted Ed McMichael, Seattle's beloved "Tuba Man," near Seattle Center. McMichael died a few days later and Jones served time in juvenile detention for manslaughter.

At Friday's sentencing, the judge said she sees too many cases involving guns. Cahan said if Jones hadn’t had a gun that Christmas Eve, the fight would have ended in a brawl instead of a man losing his life.

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.