William Jason Grisso received a 380 month prison sentence for the premeditated murder of his live-in girlfriend, Nancy Gardner. Sentencing occurred before Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin on Nov. 2.
Premeditated murder, also known as Murder 1, requires a minimum sentence of 20 years, with a maximum sentence of life in prison. The standard sentencing range is between 240 and 320 months.
Grisso received the standard maximum of 320 months plus an additional 60 months for a weapons enhancement (Gardner had been shot in the head with a gun). The judge ordered these to be served consecutively bringing the total to 380 months.
The judge also ordered that the sentence be served as “flat time,”meaning that there will be no credit allowed for good behavior. Washington law normally allows an automatic reduction of one-third of the sentence for “good behavior.”
Grisso received credit for the 481 days he sat in the Pierce County Jail between his arrest and his sentencing, which means he will not be seen again for another 31 years. Grisso will be 74 years old when released from prison in the year 2046.
Grisso was also ordered to pay a total of $5,000 in court costs, DNA registration fees, and restitution to the crime victims fund to be collected by Department of Corrections from the pennies per hour that Grisso might earn while working in prison.
On Nov 3, Grisso’s attorney filed a notice of appeal, and the court found Grisso indigent and eligible for attorney and appeal costs at public expense. Jodi Backlund has been appointed as his attorney for the appeal.
There were no eyewitnesses to the crime. The conviction was based upon circumstantial evidence. Grisso has claimed to be innocent since his arrest in July 2014
For more details, see the front page story published in the Key Peninsula News, Nov. 1 edition.