The 54-year-old man accused of murdering his girlfriend at their 28th Ave South apartment last December has pleaded guilty. The Seattle Times reports that Dennis Hart pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and faces a possible sentence of just over eight years. He originally faced a charge of murder in the second degree.
From our December 2009 report:
According to court documents, 911 operators received a call from a phone booth in the 2600 block of South Jackson Street, where a man identified himself as Dennis Hart and said that “he had just stabbed his old lady.” Officers were dispatched to the suspect’s apartment, where they found Regina Calip-Elix laying in a pool of blood near the open front door. A bloody knife was also recovered from inside the apartment.
A neighbor of the suspect and victim told police that she saw Hart run from the apartment, leaving the door open, shortly before the 911 call was made.
The suspect was arrested 20 minutes later when he placed a second 911 call from another pay phone at 23rd & Jackson. After hearing his Miranda rights, he asked officers “How’s my girlfriend Gina doing?”, and in later interviews he said that had gotten into an argument with the victim over money and her crack habit. He said that the argument escalated and she came at him with a knife from the kitchen, and he ended up stabbing her in the chest. According to medical examiners, that wound went straight to the heart, killing her within seconds.