Former soldier gets 20 years for killing Kirkland woman

by: Chris Legeros Updated:


KIRKLAND, Wash. - Dakota Wolf was a 19-year-old soldier, absent without leave from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, when he attacked a young woman in 2011.  

He stabbed Scarlett Paxton multiple times with a butcher knife in an alley and then outside of her Kirkland apartment.  

“Complete shock overtook me, it felt like part of my soul had been ripped from my body,” said the woman’s mother, Michelle Diggins.

Paxton's parents shared their grief at Wolf's sentencing, and called for stiff punishment.  

“A coward like this does not deserve to walk the streets with the rest of society ever again,” Ernest Paxton said. 

The killer agreed Paxton's family should never have had to endure the pain that he caused them. 

Wolf admitted he was high on "spice," a synthetic marijuana, when he Paxton.

He said, “I deserve life, hell, I deserve death. I’m aware of this, but I want one day to get out and do something good.”  

Wolf was originally charged with first-degree murder, but agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a lesser penalty of 20 years in prison.  

After handing him that sentence, Judge Julie Spector said, “You have no criminal history, yet you’re a ticking time bomb that blew up in this Kirkland community and took Scarlett from everybody.”