Murderess sentenced to 20 years

By: 
Aaron Andrews
Staff Writer

A local woman who pleaded guilty to first-degree premeditated murder was sentenced Dec. 18 to 20 years in prison.
Ashley Marie Chappelle, 26, of Colville will not be able to earn a “good time” sentence reduction. She was convicted of murdering her husband, Shane Christopher Rapp, 28, in 2017.
According to court records, Chappelle believed Rapp was an abusive father, so, with the help of Karysa and Daniel Jones, she lured Rapp into the woods where Daniel beat him to death with a hammer.
In a statement to the court prior to sentencing, Stevens County District Attorney Tim Rasmussen said he couldn't understand why Chappelle resorted to murder.
“I have been involved in cases of this nature for 30 years on both sides and have learned that, if there is an answer, it lies in the evil existing in human hearts,” Rasmussen said. “Usually, that evil becomes established as a result of childhood trauma or abuse. The abused inflict abuse. The uncared for become uncaring.”
Collete Rapp, the victim's sister, also made a statement: “I understand that [Ashley] could be sentenced to 20 years,” she said, “but I'm sentenced to a life sentence without my brother. And he's gone. The brutality of his death and the calculation and planning — I'm in shock. Nothing is going to bring my brother back, but I definitely don't think that Ashley should get anything less than she is being asked … It's just horrible, the whole thing.”
Defense attorney Tim Trageser said Chappelle's conclusion that her husband had abused her children was unfounded and that her subsequent actions were “disastrous.”
But Trageser argued that Chappelle acted on the “solid belief” that she was defending her children.
With the judge's permission, Chappelle gave her statement to the court: “I just wanted to say how sorry I am,” she said. “If I could change it, I would. It seems that everybody wants to know about motive … I was just trying to do what's best for my children, and it turned out to be very, very wrong. And I am really sorry …
“I pleaded guilty, and I'll take responsibility for my actions.”
At sentencing, Judge Patrick Monasmith said, “What I see is what I frequently see: This decision you thought was a good decision was really a selfish one. You decided that Mr. Rapp needed to die. You took active steps in concert with the Joneses [previously convicted] to assure that would happen.
“The result is the destruction of families, children not having a father and children not having their mother available to them for many, many years.”

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