Trial date to be moved in strangulation case

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Accused murderer Kevin Bradfield likely will get a new trial date Nov. 16.

The 23-year-old Port Angeles man is charged with first-degree premeditated murder for the October 2011 strangulation death of 27-year-old Jennifer Pimentel.

His trial most recently was set for Monday, but that date was struck down in a Friday court hearing.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge S. Brooke Taylor set a status/trial-reset hearing for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 16.

Previous trial dates were set for Dec. 5, 2011, and March 5 and May 21 this year.

The delays have centered around DNA tests, mental evaluations and other slow-emerging evidence.

Taylor on Friday approved defense attorney Loren Oakley’s request to hire Dr. John Lloyd to conduct a forensic psychological evaluation on Bradfield.

“There’s a lot of discovery in this case,” said Oakley of Clallam Public Defender.

“We’ve got about 650 pages, 700 pages from the state, and then we’ve got another 700 to 1,000 pages of discovery regarding Mr. Bradfield’s developmental disability.”

Held on $1 million bond

Bradfield is being held at the Clallam County jail on $1 million bond.

He is accused of strangling Pimentel, a developmentally disabled woman, at his girlfriend’s Port Angeles apartment, then hiding her body in a wooded area in East Jefferson County.

After signing the order to approve the defense expert, Taylor said: “We do need to keep this moving.

“It’s been a year now,” he said.

Bradfield and his girlfriend, Kendell K. Huether, led authorities to Pimentel’s unburied remains off Paradise Bay Road north of the Hood Canal Bridge on Oct. 19, 2011.

Huether trial

Huether, now 26, is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and two counts of witness tampering for allegedly helping Bradfield hide the body and asking two acquaintances to lie about seeing Pimentel alive after her disappearance.

She is living in Port Angeles on electronic home monitoring. Her trial is set for Nov. 26.

Bradfield originally was charged with second-degree murder.

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall raised the charge to first-degree premeditated murder after a corrections officer intercepted a letter from Bradfield in April that indicated he had “planned to murder Pimentel to prevent her from accusing Bradfield of rape,” court documents said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 03. 2012 5:38PM
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