Victim's family out in force to face man accused of driving high on meth in I-405 deadly crash

by: John Knicely Updated:


Three days after burying 22-year-old Ian Beckford his family and friends packed a King County courtroom. They were there to see his accused killer, Samuel Sampson, enter his plea. Prosecutors say on September 12th Sampson was high on meth and speeding recklessly down I-405 in Bellevue when he crashed into Beckford.

The only words Sampson spoke in court were "Yes it is" when asked if his name is Samuel Sampson. His attorney entered a plea of not guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

Sampson's wife, Stacy Abele, was in the car with him when they crashed. She told KIRO 7 he was on a suicide mission and hit speeds of 130 mph.

Sampson and Abele only suffered minor injuries. Beckford's family was left wiping away tears Monday in the courtroom.

"We had this beautiful young man who had a great future, and now he's gone," said Deanna Stevens, Beckford's neighbor since he was 4 years old.

Stevens described Beckford as a sweet neighbor boy who would always help her start her old lawn mower.

"If it's raining, he'd mow it for me," said Stevens.

Beckfords parents were too upset to talk with KIRO 7. His family and friends say they want justice.

"I think they should throw the book at (Sampson)," said Stevens. "He was on the freeway risking the lives of other people and he took Ian's life."

Sampson remains locked up in the King County Jail on $1 million bail.


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