Circumstances Surrounding Aaron's Murder

As it was in Aaron's nature to help the less fortunate, he rented a room in his basement to a newly released prison inmate, Scott Allen Britton, on the condition that he stay "clean and sober." There is evidence to suggest that he did not keep his word so Aaron asked him to move out. Sometime after Aaron went to sleep on the night of June 22, 1996, this renter brought a pillow from his bed downstairs up to Aaron's bedroom.  He then took a loaded .44 special revolver out of its case on the closet shelf.  This predator then wrapped the pillow around the handgun to muffle the sound as well as minimize residue, and shot Aaron through the heart as he slept. He then reloaded the gun so there would be no cartridges missing and put it back into the box on the shelf.  He then proceeded to pour different types of accelerant such as gasoline and paint thinner throughout the house, setting it on fire, hoping that would cover up the murder. There was no way to determine the time of death due to the effect the tremendous heat and fire had on Aaron's body. Even though an autopsy was performed by a forensic pathologist flown in several days later, his body was not released to us for 100 days.

The perpetrator of this crime was arrested and charged with 1st degree murder and 1st degree arson. The first trial commenced on April 14, 1997, and ended in a mistrial due to juror misconduct on May 16, 1997. The second trial started on September 8, 1997, and resulted in a conviction on October 7, 1997, on both charges. This predator, Scott Allen Britton, was sentenced on October 24, 1997, and is currently serving life without the possibility of parole at the Walla Walla penitentiary in the State of Washington. This sentence was mandated by his "three strikes" status. He has a long criminal history. There is an appeal pending at this time.

Aaron's Personal Information

Extraordinary is the only word to describe Aaron. He was extremely clever, creative and idealistic; yet, very sensitive. His compassion, understanding and love were unequalled. He kindly shared all that he had. Aaron always put others' needs before his own. He went out of his way to make sure he would never cause any pain or grief to anyone. Besides his inner beauty, he was extraordinarily handsome.

He climbed Mt. Adams, in the State of Washington, at the age of 9. As a youngster, he played judo, soccer and was a swim team member for many years. He enjoyed autocrossing, hunting, fishing and any activities connected with nature. He loved the mountains as well as the ocean beaches. He loved traveling in Canada and Mexico. As a high school student, he was chosen for the People-to-People Ambassador Program, living with host families in six different European countries.

Aaron earned two college degrees, ten years apart, one in business and the other in science; he also was a Phi Theta Kappa recipient and holder of many personal and corporate awards. What a tragic waste of his talents and leadership qualities. He was a vital, contributing member of society. He volunteered hundreds of hours to local, state and national political campaigns. He studied constantly. He was often referred to as "Mr. Encyclopedia." Aaron had the ability to converse accurately with anyone on virtually any topic. His knowledge took your breath away. He was brilliant.

He was very disciplined and exercised his body as well as his mind. He worked out and ran religiously, eating only healthy, low-fat meals, depriving himself of his passion for rich foods. Aaron was also a gourmet cook. He planned to live longer than anyone. He was a regular blood donor. His desire to be a complete organ donor could not be fulfilled due to the manner of his brutal death.

He was a truly unique, remarkable individual. No parents could have had a son more responsible or dependable. Aaron always changed his plans, never asking us to change ours, so we could spend special occasions together as a family. He was a major care giver for his grandmother who died of Alzheimer's. He was a mentor to his younger brother, Alan, and they cared deeply for each other. Even though Aaron's marriage ended in divorce a few years before his murder, he and his ex-wife, Cindi, remained very close and the best of friends. Aaron had no children to carry on for him.

Double benches were dedicated to honor Aaron's memory along the Columbia River in Leslie Groves Park, Richland, Washington. He was a great blessing to our family. We are very thankful that we were given the privilege of sharing part of our lives with him. Aaron will live on in our hearts forever.

There is no yardstick that will measure what we have lost. We have an emptiness, a loneliness that cannot be imagined or described. We will never stop needing Aaron, wanting him, longing for the sound of his voice. This nightmare will never end for us. This cowardly act of murder as he slept not only gave him no opportunity to defend himself, but denied him the very basic human right to make peace with his God or; at the very least, say goodbye to his family. Aaron deserved better.

Pat Laws

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Hear the peaceful quiet
Reflecting life for now
Sorrow deep within us
We'll get through it somehow

God in all His Wisdom
Created place to rest
Among all nature's beauty
Our souls will feel so blest

Sky above in beauty
Steps that we will roam
The majesty of happiness
This place that we call home

Find a place to rest your heart
Join me in this love
Bow your head in reverence
As warmth comes from above

Silence now fulfilling
The wind to fill our soul
Love is our connection
God's nature will console.

~ Francine Pucillo ~
Šused with permission