Renton man sentenced in 2020 killing of 18-year-old in Kirkland

Two juveniles and the victim planned to meet the three men at Houghton Beach Park to trade an assault rifle for a handgun and money.

The King County Superior Court has sentenced a Renton man for the murder of an 18-year-old man in Kirkland in September 2020.

Judge Nicole Gaines-Phelps sentenced 21-year-old Chrisean Jowayne Kaufman of Renton to 10 years and 3 months in confinement at a hearing Oct. 27 after he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of murder in the second degree, down from a charge of murder in the first degree.

According to prosecutorial documents, three men including Kaufman, in addition to Joshua Scott Hawthorne, 20, of Renton and Calvin Silvaka Vao, 19, of Kent, shot and fatally injured Cyrus Mason, 18, on Sept. 16, 2020.

Hawthorne and Vao continue to await jury trials. Hawthorne and Vao both face a charge of murder in the first degree.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, two juveniles and the victim, Mason, planned to meet the three men at Houghton Beach Park to trade an assault rifle in exchange for a handgun and money.

In the process of robbing Mason of his assault rifle, the three men shot Mason multiple times on the swim dock of the park. Officers arrived to find Mason on the dock, bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.

After first responders transported Mason to Harborview Medical Center, Mason died as a result of his injuries at the hospital. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Mason’s death a homicide as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

Through investigation of the incident, law enforcement identified and arrested Kaufman, Hawthorne and Vao, with prosecutors filing charges against the three men in February 2021.

Kaufman filed a statement pleading guilty to the reduced charge of murder in the second degree in September 2023.

“I drove my two people to Houghton Beach Park in Kirkland so that they could confront Cyrus Mason with a firearm. While there, the two people shot Cyrus Mason, causing his death. I then drove those two people away from the scene of the shooting,” Kaufman stated.

In addition to his term of confinement, Kaufman’s sentence additionally included 36 months of community custody upon release.

Family members of Mason attended Kaufman’s sentencing hearing on Oct. 27.

“We were friends, we were confidants and each other’s support system through life’s ups and downs,” read a victim impact statement submitted to the court on the day of Kaufman’s sentencing. “Cyrus was a pillar of strength, compassion, and wisdom, and his absence has left an irreplaceable void in my life.”

Both Hawthorne and Vao have jury trials scheduled for Jan. 8, 2024.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Police arrest Kent boy, 16, for vehicular assault after 3-car collision

Teen and three others injured, two critically; boy reportedly stole vehicle prior to June 17 crash on East Hill

Kent School District voters could face another levy in November

Superintendent Israel Vela reveals proposal to Kent School Board for less expensive measure

Two fires in 4 months at vacant Kent house caused by homeless people

Firefighters extinguish latest Naden Avenue fire early Sunday, June 16

8 Kent high school students participate in Rotary leadership conference

Students selected for their potential to be leaders and dedication to community service

Passenger turns out to be driver in crash that killed Kent woman

State Patrol reportedly determines new information in June 2 multivehicle collision in Seattle

Civil suit against Kent School District, board moves forward

Efforts continue to end resolution that excludes one board member from all labor contract talks

Firefighters put on special suits to stop chlorine gas leak in Kent

Leak stopped Wednesday, June 12 from tanks at city well on East Hill; nobody injured

Kentridge High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District
Weapon found Wednesday, June 12 at Kentridge High School

Campus put in lockdown during incident; principal says no direct threat to students or staff

Free summer meals to start June 24 in Kent School District

Meals available for children 18 and under at select schools, apartments, parks and community centers

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Man faces assault charge after attack at Kent auto repair shop

Dispute over lack of payment for repairs reportedly led to man punching, kicking employee in head

Kent Police Blotter: May 28 to June 10

Incidents include robberies at Walgreens, 7-Eleven; assaults, shots fired

Kent School District’s Class of 2024 high school graduates | Photos

Kent-Meridian, Kentlake, Kentridge, Kentwood, Kent Laboratory Academy graduated last weekend