A man convicted of a horrific killing and its cover-up was arrested for violating his probation Monday, June 15, at Bellis Fair mall in Bellingham.
Wesley Vernon Jefferson, 31, made a jewelry salesperson at a kiosk nervous by fiddling with a knife while inside the mall around 2:55 p.m. He and a woman he was with, Sandra Rose Jefferson, 29, also went into a part of the mall that’s for employees only, so police were called so they could be given a trespassing notice.
Officers caught up with the Jeffersons in the parking lot. A routine warrant check on Wesley revealed he was wanted in Seattle for violating his probation in a homicide case.
Back in December 2004, Jefferson got into a fight with the mother of his children, Sophia Solomon, 23, a Tulalip tribal member. She jumped from a van and ran into the woods on the Tulalip reservation. He chased her down and strangled her to death, then tried to disguise the death as a suicide by hanging. Because Jefferson was also a tribal member — Lummi — the case went to the federal courts, where he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
He was sentenced to the maximum of 10 years.
“Part of me wishes I could double, triple or quadruple the sentence,” Judge Robert S. Lasnik said at the time.
Since re-entering society he has struggled. Less than a month after his release from prison, for example, Jefferson was found passed out and severely intoxicated at 8 o’clock in the morning in violation of his probation, according to a federal court records.
On Monday he was booked into Whatcom County Jail on a U.S. Marshals hold. He remained there as of Tuesday evening.
Ms. Jefferson had a warrant out for her arrest, too, for not showing up to court to face drug charges. She also remained in jail Tuesday.