Sentencing set in Port Angeles strangulation case

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Kevin A. Bradfield will be sentenced May 29 for the murder of a developmentally disabled woman in October 2011.

The 23-year-old Port Angeles man entered an Alford plea to first-degree premeditated murder Jan. 16 for the strangulation death of Jennifer Pimentel, 27.

In the Alford plea, Bradfield admitted there was enough evidence to support a conviction but did not admit he was guilty.

He remains in the Clallam County jail on $1 million bond.

Wood set the sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. May 29.

As part of a plea offer, the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and defense attorney Loren Oakley of Clallam Public Defender agreed to a recommended sentence of 20 years in prison with three years' community custody.

However, the state Department of Corrections recommended 26 years, eight months with three years' supervision in a presentence investigation report that was completed April 4 and made public Wednesday.

Reviewed objections

Clallam County Superior Court Judge George L. Wood on Thursday reviewed objections that Oakley raised about the report.

The recommended sentence was at the top of the range and 80 months longer than the sentence lawyers agreed to.

Wood, who is not bound by either recommended sentence, found no cause for an evidentiary “real facts” hearing on the DOC report.

Oakley disputed allegations that Bradfield bragged about what he did, boasted that he would receive little jail time, displayed no remorse for his actions and that he killed Pimentel because he raped her and did not want her to report the assault.

The DOC allegations were based on victim statements.

The report also states that Bradfield's “cognitive deficits . . . have little or no bearing on one's ability to feel remorse.”

Oakley was prepared to call an expert witness to testify in an evidentiary hearing about Bradfield's “mental state, cognitive deficits, and ability to feel or express remorse to rebut the P.S.I.'s allegations and recommendations,” Oakley wrote in an April 24 motion.

Wood on Thursday found that the victims' statements about how Pimentel's death affected them were not a “real facts” issue.

The judge added that hearsay will not be considered at Bradfield's sentencing.

Pimentel was visiting Bradfield's live-in girlfriend, Kendell K. Huether, when Pimentel was killed Oct. 9, 2011, Port Angeles police said.

The couple hid the body in a remote area near the Hood Canal Bridge and led authorities to the remains 10 days after Pimentel's murder, according to the certification for probable cause.

Last month, Huether, 26, pleaded guilty to rendering criminal assistance and was found guilty in a bench trial of two counts of witness tampering in connection with Pimentel's death.

Huether sentenced

Huether will be sentenced Wednesday. She is living in the Port Angeles area on home monitoring.

Tonya Bailey, Pimentel's mother, told a DOC investigator that a 20-year sentence for Bradfield is “not long enough.”

“[Bailey] said he displays no remorse for his actions,” according to the report submitted by DOC Community Corrections Officer Lourene O'Brien.

“She wants to see Bradfield receive the maximum sentence possible and would prefer a life sentence.”

Henry Pimentel, Jennifer's father, said Bradfield “should be sentenced to the most time he can possibly receive and wishes it could be a life sentence,” O'Brien wrote.

Navier Pimentel, Jennifer's sister, “not only wants Bradfield to go to prison for life, she also wants Kendell Huether charged as an accessory for murder and to receive some significant confinement time for participating in Jennifer's murder,” the report states.

Bradfield declined to be interviewed for the presentence investigation, which delayed his sentencing four times.

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

Last modified: May 09. 2013 6:47PM
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