19-year sentence cut to 14 years in 2013 Sun Cove murder

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WATERVILLE — A Snohomish man convicted of fatally shooting another man in the head during a Douglas County vacation eight years ago has won a reduced sentence.

Oscar A. Alden was sentenced to 19 years for second-degree murder in the June 2013 killing of Tom Maks of Lake Tapps . He’ll now serve just over 14 years.

Alden, who was 23 at the time, was vacationing with a group of friends in Sun Cove when Maks, a 34-year-old former real estate agent who was staying next door, intruded on their house and started a physical fight. Alden retrieved a handgun and shot Maks in the head after the fight had ended, while Maks was on all fours in the driveway.

A jury denied Alden’s claim of self-defense and convicted him in 2014, and Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss sentenced him to 231 months, including a 60-month enhancement for use of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

Last year, an appellate court ruled that Alden’s prior diagnosis of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder should have been considered when he was sentenced. Douglas County Prosecutor Gordon Edgar petitioned in June for a reduction in Alden’s sentence, after striking an agreement with Alden’s lawyer to withdraw the firearm enhancement.

“The State concedes Mr. Alden’s appellate counsel provided compelling information about ADHD that should have been presented at sentencing and which would likely have impacted the sentence imposed,” Edgar wrote in his petition.

Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber complied last week, reducing Alden’s prison term to 171 months as prescribed in the standard sentence range for second-degree murder. He remains held in Clallam Bay Corrections Center.