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Sunday, February 21, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pacific Northwest

Man Gets Life Without Parole For Killing Tacoma Girl In '96

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

TACOMA - A man convicted in the 1996 suffocation death of a 9-year-old girl near McChord Air Force Base should serve life in prison without parole, a jury has decided.

Pierce County prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Guy Rasmussen, 32, a musician arrested nearly four months after Cynthia Allinger was sexually assaulted and killed in July 1996.

But the Pierce County Superior Court jury that convicted Rasmussen of aggravated-first-degree murder late last month could not agree unanimously that he should die for the crime. The only other penalty in Washington for aggravated murder is life without parole.

Allinger was last seen alive on July 4, 1996, playing around an apartment complex near the base. She lived there with her mother and two younger sisters.

Her body was found two weeks later in a nearby field.

Defense lawyers had argued that detectives excluded as suspects a number of sex offenders who lived in the area, and that Rasmussen had an airtight alibi.

As a teenager, Rasmussen was convicted in 1982 of sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl and served five years in prison. In 1990, he served five months after pleading guilty to assault on a 10-year-old Olympia girl.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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