OKANOGAN - A sentencing hearing for a woman convicted of killing her uncle when she was 16 has been canceled, with a review hearing scheduled for March 16.
Shalin Elizabeth Alltus, now 21, was granted resentencing Aug. 22, 2019, by the state Court of Appeals for Division 3. She was booked into the Okanogan County Jail on Jan. 6.
The appeals court determined the trial court abused its discretion when it denied Alltus’ request to bifurcate (split into two parts) her sentencing, order a pre-sentence report and give her lawyers sufficient time to present evidence of mitigating circumstances related to her youth.
A sentencing hearing was set for Feb. 12, but canceled at Alltus’ request.
The review hearing will be before Judge Chris Culp, according to court records.
Alltus was found guilty by a jury Aug. 26, 2016, of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of theft of a firearm and two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile in the 2014 death of her uncle, Patrick Alltus, at his rural Riverside home.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered in January.
That investigation, dated Feb. 10, included a description of what happened at Patrick Alltus’ home, plus statements by his relatives.
A written statement by Toni Alltus, Patrick Alltus sister-in-law, said the emotional impact of losing a family member and knowing his children will grow up without a father has been severe.
Sharing the same last name, and doing business in the same last name, “is embarrassing, not to mention the stigma that goes along with having a family member that would commit such a crime. It’s truly inexplicable.”
Family members have stepped in to help with his children, but “every memory made is one we realize he missed and they missed having him present for,” she wrote.
The children fear someone will break in and hurt the family, she wrote.
She said the original 38.33-year sentence is fitting, and that Shalin Alltus manipulated co-defendant Parker Bachtold into helping her commit the crime. She shows no remorse, said the statement.
“She is an ever-present threat to others and should not get out for a long time,” said the statement.
“So please consider delivering the maximum allowable sentence,” the statement continued. “The longer until she gets out, the healthier and safer the kids will feel. And that’s something the court can provide for them; time with her in jail so they do not have to think about it and have time to grow up and become adults free of fear.”
Patrick Alltus’ father, Larry Alltus, the event destroyed his family, and that he lost a son and granddaughter at the same time. He said Shalin Alltus had a rough childhood but was a good kid.
“I feel bad that I didn’t try to get custody of the kids. If I would have taken custody of the kids, Patrick would still be alive today,” said the statement.
He, too, said he felt Bachtold “was a pawn in all this.”
He said he believes his other son, Larry (Shalin’s father) killed Patrick and used Shalin. He said his granddaughter needs to tell the truth and own what happened.
“If she doesn’t want to accept her part, then she needs to sit in jail. I don’t want her locked up for life, but she also cannot have the chance to do this again to somebody else,” said Larry Alltus, her grandfather. “No matter how much we punish these two kids, it won’t bring my son back. It won’t bring my grandkids’ father back.”
Patrick Alltus’ step-mother, Roberta Alltus, said she can’t sleep at night and experiences nightmares from autopsy photos shown at the trial.
“Somebody who loved my son did this to him,” said her statement. “She deserves the sentence she got. This has torn our family apart. I don’t talk much with my grandkids. Pat’s siblings don’t talk anymore. This appeal puts hot ash in still-open wounds.”
She also said Shalin Alltus had a bad childhood, but would confide in her grandparents and Patrick Alltus.
“She hasn’t taken responsibility, and she won’t provide a motive. She deserves life in prison,” said the statement.
Tina Gange, the mother of Patrick Alltus’ children, said her children miss their father and have had a terrible time since his death. She advocated life in prison.
Another statement came from Patrick Alltus’ daughter, Americus, 16.
A statement from Shalin Alltus is included in the pre-sentence investigation. She maintained her innocence, and that Bachtold killed her uncle “because he may have seen her and Patrick having sex in the bathroom, and he didn’t approve of their relationship.”
A risk/needs assessment in the investigative report indicates Shalin Alltus’ childhood included her parents getting her involved with drugs, alcohol and sex, including with Patrick Alltus.
In a statement, she said she’s had counseling in prison, gotten her GED and is working on an associate degree. She wants to be a dog trainer and animal groomer, and has become closer to God.
“I have been rehabilitated with the positive direction I am walking in,” said her statement. “I want to change lives for those who are struggling in life or are in similar situations I have been in. I am here taking responsibility for my action of not calling for help or opening up about our relationship.
“I was a child who has never been in trouble and I am being rehabilitated. Please be lenient with me, and a chance at life again.”
The investigative report, prepared by Community Corrections Officer Nicole Davis of the state Department of Corrections, said that although her traumatic childhood should be taken into consideration during sentencing, “Ms. Alltus showed no remorse during the interview. She had nothing to say about her young cousins, whom she had lived with on and off, and didn’t appear to care how they were struggling with the loss of their father. She didn’t appear to be too upset about the death of her uncle, whom she claimed she love and was romantically involved.”
Alltus’ uncle, Patrick Alltus, was found dead Oct. 5, 2014, in his rural Riverside home. He was found wrapped in blankets with a plastic bag over his head, and he had gunshot wounds to the arm and face, and a blunt force injury to his forehead, according to court records.
Cause of death was determined to be bleeding out, probably within 30 minutes of the shotgun blast to the face. Wounds to his wrist and bicep were consistent with a .22-caliber rifle, said court records.
Shalin Alltus and another teen, Bachtold, had been living with Patrick Alltus, but were not there when his body was found. One of his pickup trucks was missing and a statewide alert was issued for the truck.
The two teens were arrested Oct. 6, 2014, at a motel in Oregon where Bachtold’s father and stepmother had been staying. The truck was located at the motel, and Patrick Alltus’ .22-caliber rifle and shotgun were found in the parents’ motel room.
Bachtold initially denied knowledge of Patrick Alltus’ death, but eventually admitted his role.
He said he was sleeping the night Patrick Alltus was shot but was awakened around midnight by a gunshot, said court records. He picked up the shotgun, loaded it and stepped into the hallway, according to court records.
He saw Shalin Alltus in the living room, behind a couch, and the .22-caliber rifle was on the ground. Patrick Alltus came around the side of the couch, swearing at his niece because he had been shot in the arm.
As he approached his niece, Bachtold shot him in the head, said court records.