Trial delayed in case linked to strangling death

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PORT ANGELES — Kendell K. Huether, a Port Angeles woman charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance to a man accused of murdering a developmentally disabled woman in October 2011, won’t go to trial as scheduled this week.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge George L. Wood last week signed an order continuing the trial despite the objection of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall.

Next court appearance

Huether, 26, will get a new trial date at her next court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Friday. She is living in Port Angeles on electronic home monitoring.

Huether is accused of rendering assistance to Kevin A. Bradfield, a 23-year-old Port Angeles man who is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the strangulation death of Jennifer Pimentel, 27.

In a motion for a continuance, defense attorney Karen Unger said she has a conflict with an older Whatcom County case that needs to go to trial by the end of the year.

Furthermore, Unger argued that Bradfield should be tried before Huether.

“Given the nature of the charges against Ms. Huether [rendering criminal assistance in the first degree as it relates to the crime of murder in the first degree] it would seem to make more sense to try Ms. Huether after Mr. Bradfield’s case is resolved; otherwise, the state is proving a first-degree murder charge twice, once in Ms. Huether’s case and again when Mr. Bradfield goes to trial,” Unger wrote in a motion for a continuance.

Bradfield’s trial date

Bradfield also will get a new trial date Nov. 30.

Previous trial dates were set in his case for Dec. 5, 2011, as well as March 5, May 21 and Nov. 5 of this year.

The delays have revolved around DNA tests and mental evaluations.

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

Port Angeles police said Bradfield and Huether led authorities to Pimentel’s unburied remains off Paradise Bay Road north of the Hood Canal Bridge on Oct. 19, 2011.

Huether also was charged with two counts of witness tampering for allegedly asking two acquaintances to lie about seeing Pimentel alive after her disappearance.

Bradfield originally was charged with second-degree murder, but 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.

Last modified: November 24. 2012 5:32PM
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