16-Year Old Boy Pleads Guilty In White Center Shooting

Scene of the CrimeWHITE CENTER – The 16-year old boy who fatally shot a White Center man during a burglary attempt last fall plead guilty this morning to second-degree murder.

Jonathan Newman was originally charged with first-degree murder in juvenile court shortly after the slaying of Craig Hoffman, 46. But the case was remanded to adult court Monday after King County prosecutors agreed to charge the boy with second-degree murder in exchange for the guilty plea.

Sentencing was scheduled for June 13. Prosecutors plan to seek a sentence of up to 23 years in prison.

Andrea Mathison, Hoffman’s sister, was in court this morning when Newman pleaded guilty. She said she was pleased the teen’s plea meant the case would not go to trial.

“He admitted what he did was wrong,” said Hoffman, of Lakewood, Pierce County. “That part is very comforting.”

According to charging papers, Newman, who was 15 at time, and two other teens saw Hoffman drive away from his home the morning of Oct. 19. Newman entered the house through an open garage and then let the other two boys in through the front door. When Hoffman returned a short time later the boys raced out of the house with stolen items in hand, court documents said.

Deputy Prosecutor Amy Montgomery said Newman shot Hoffman as the homeowner was chasing the teens off his property.

The two other teens have pleaded guilty in juvenile court and had agreed to testify against Newman.


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