The Dumbest Criminals of the Year

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Every year Seattle gets editorially fellated for having some of the smartest citizens in the country. But while Forbes and other national magazines focus on the Boeing engineers and baristas with advanced degrees, they ignore the fact that we also have our fair share of mental midgets. Especially if you cheat and include the more cerebrally-challenged and felonious members of Seattle's greater, greater exurbs (and Tacoma). So here now, in no particular order, the five locals who made us think, "Well at least I'm not as dumb as that guy."

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1. Graydon Smith

Graydon Smith's career in contract law didn't get off to a promising start.

Back in April, Smith's pregnant 19-year-old girlfriend called 911 after she said he had threatened to kill her. When police arrived, Smith, 31, was nowhere to be found. But he'd left behind some evidence.

During questioning, Smith's girlfriend revealed that he'd once asked her to sign something he termed an "abuse contract": a letter that stated he was free to pound on her as much as he wanted so long as he avoided her pregnant belly.

When cops contacted Smith he denied the death threat accusation, possibly thinking the police would take his word over that of a hysterical, hormonal teenager. Unfortunately, he was right. Because even though he admitted to having her sign the abuse contract, Smith wasn't arrested for another month, and not until after his fed-up stepfather called police after watching him choke out his girlfriend until she passed out.

Smith was sent to jail on charges of second-degree assault and felony harassment. Here's hoping his cellmate was just as punch-happy towards him as he was to his pregnant girlfriend, only without all that messy legalese.

2. Michael Comte

If Michael Comte did what police accuse him of then not only is the 32-year-old Tacoman a shithead, he's a stupid shithead to boot.

Cops say that Comte raped his friend's 3-year-old daughter while babysitting the little girl. How are they so sure? Well not only did Comte take pictures and video of the alleged rape on his cell phone, he then donated it to Goodwill too.

When one of the charity's employees started playing with the phone they quickly realized its previous owner was sick, twisted and in need of losing most of his personal freedoms. Police traced the phone back to Comte and tracked down the mother of the little girl, who up until then had been unaware that her babysitter was a total creep.

Accused of rape of a child and sexual exploitation of a minor, Comte was also charged with the lesser crime of being too stupid to realize you don't make public a damning piece of evidence.

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3. Brittainy Labberton

Brittainy Labberton of Bellevue was only 20 years old when she gave birth to her daughter in August of 2008. Still, no matter how young you are, most parents should know that babies are supposed to be fat and cuddly. Right?

Back in January, Labberton and her husband Scott were charged with third-degree criminal mistreatment for allegedly starving their child. And the more info that came out about the couple, the weirder things got.

The Labbertons first hiccup came two months after their daughter was born when she was hospitalized for failing to gain weight. The couple said that the kid was fussy and threw up her formula. But doctors insisted their daughter was happy.

From that point on the Labbertons' child was in foster care, with her parents only granted supervised visits. During one of those visits in January of last year, the girl's foster parent said she was irritable and had diarrhea. Tests on the bottle indicated the girl had been fed laxatives.

Prosecutors also say Brittany made disturbing comments about her daughter's weight. Saying "Oh my god she's fat" when she weighed 13 pounds at four months old.

Brittany is 5'5'' and weighs only 90 pounds. She told prosecutors that she went on medication for post-partum depression, but took herself off of it within days because it made her tired.

Police also removed the Labbertons older daughter from their home. Her new foster parents said that when she got into their custody she ate so fast she choked on her food.

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4. Dallas Smith

Dallas Smith made two key errors in judgment on the September night in which she allegedly stabbed a fellow partygoer. First, she overestimated her ability to perform a gymnastic maneuver. Then she took extraordinary offense to the kind of "insult" that wouldn't make a second-grader blink.

Police say the 18-year-old Smith was hanging out with friends at a house in Monroe when she started boasting about her ability to do a backflip. While it's unclear why Smith chose this, of all times, to start bragging about her acrobatic accomplishments, what is known is that teens don't often act logically when they've been drinking at their ex-boyfriend's house.

Enter the 19-year-old fellow partygoer who called Smith's bluff and challenged her to jump off of the back porch. When she wasn't able to perform under pressure, the man teased Smith that her feet -- now sock-free in preparation for the jump -- were "smelly."

Being accused of having stinky feet is a crime worth a punishment no worse than a soft punch to the shoulder. But this apparent breach of etiquette didn't sit well with Smith, who allegedly plunged a steak knife into her taunter's back, nearly piecing his lung, and then fled.

Obviously new at this whole being-a-criminal thing, after being arrested or assault Smith told a detective that she was planning on going away to Australia for a couple months. A casual pronouncement that very briefly earned her a $250,000 bench warrant, and even more reason to toughen up that thin skin of hers.

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5. Maxi Sopo

We've all done something stupid on Facebook. Drink too much, find yourself online and there's a roughly 50-50 chance you'll spend the next morning trying to frantically delete the slurring love letter you wrote on an ex's wall. But the consequences of Facebook stupidity rarely rise above the level of mild embarrassment. Which is not exactly the same as landing in a Mexico City jail.

That's what happened to Maxi Sopo. Formerly one of those guys you see selling roses in nightclubs, the 26-year-old Cameroon native decided he'd had enough of trying to bargain with drunk meatheads at Trinity. According to federal authorities, Sopo and an associate swindled $200,000 from Seattle-area banks by convincing willing dupes to fudge their incomes on car loans, then used that money to fund a business and expensive trips to Vegas.

Sopo fled to Cancun, where he lived the life of a king; hanging out on the beach by day, partying in clubs by night. But because he's a criminal, he then did something very, very stupid.

In between posting updates on how much fun he was having, Sopo friended a former Justice Department official. The official had taken a leave of absence and was organizing student trips to Cancun. He'd only met Sopo a couple times and had no idea he was a fugitive. But authorities combing the web did, and after they saw him on Sopo's friends list they tracked him down and used the official to locate Sopo, arresting him earlier in the year.

Sopo's fellow mastermind, Edward Asatoorians, was convicted by a federal jury in Seattle last November. He's looking at up to five years in jail. Because he was the second guy caught -- and his friend already spilled his guts -- Sopo's probable sentence is a little longer. Cost of Facebook stupidity: 30 years.

 
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