Judge to deliver new sentence in 1994 murder of 7-year-old Longview girl
KELSO, Wash. —
Alex Anderson can’t forget the gruesome details of what happened to his 7-year-old sister, Rachel Dillard, July 9, 1994.
“Pulled her out of the tub, wrapped a plastic bag around her head and put her underneath his bed,” Anderson remembered.
Rachel Dillard had been hogtied with shoelaces and strangled. She died at the hands of next door neighbor 17-year-old Timothy Haag.
Despite those memories, Anderson went to Friday’s re-sentencing hearing for Haag.
“Today is extremely heart-wrenching,” said Anderson. “Emotions are flying. ... I'm having to see all of my worst nightmares all at once.”
KATU News was in Longview in 1994 after authorities found Rachel Dillard’s body hidden under Timothy Haag’s bed.
Despite being 17, Haag was sentenced to life in prison without parole under a then-new Washington law that sent juveniles to adult court for certain crimes and required mandatory sentencing.
“He knew the consequences of his actions,” said Anderson. “He just didn't want to have to accept it. He wanted to go home and go back to mommy, and that's what he's trying to do now.”
Now, more than 23 years later, Timothy Haag cried during arguments over whether he should stay in prison or be released.
Defense experts testified Haag killed the little girl during a one-time psychotic break, like a volcanic explosion.
Prosecutors argue what made Haag kill as a teenager makes him dangerous today.
Late in the day during Friday’s re-sentencing hearing, Haag spoke in court.
“And I know I’ve put Rachel’s family through hell,” said Haag. “There’s no other way to say that. I know that I’ve hurt them, that I’ve ripped them apart.”
Alex Anderson says Haag deserves to feel pain -- like his family does every day.
“The pain will never go away,” said Anderson. “The hurt, you know. And we're sentenced to a life sentence of this.”
Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Michael Evans said because there was a lot of testimony to consider during Friday’s hearing, he would deliver his decision on re-sentencing Haag Friday Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.