Redmond Man Gets 2 Years in Fatal Party Shooting

Cornelius De Jong IV pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter on Monday and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.


A Redmond man was sentenced Monday to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eastlake High School graduate Claire Thompson.

Thompson, 20, died at Harborview Medical Center on Feb. 12 after she was shot at a Redmond house party. Witnesses said De Jong, 22, was drinking at the time of the incident and shot Thompson when he accidentally fired his .40-caliber handgun through a wall.

De Jong pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter in February but entered into a plea deal Monday on the lesser second-degree charge.  

Thompson grew up in Sammamish but was living in Seattle at the time of her death and attending Central Seattle Community College. Her mother, Diane Benveniste, told the Sammamish Review she supports the outcome of the case.

“It was an accident—I know that,” Benveniste said in the newspaper. “Nothing is ever going to be enough to make up for it.”


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