Port Angeles man to plead guilty to Pimentel death
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The trial for 23-year-old Kevin A. Bradfield had been set for Feb. 4. Instead, Bradfield agreed to a 20-year sentence.

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Kevin A. Bradfield will plead guilty today to first-degree murder in the October 2011 strangulation death of Jennifer Pimentel, 27, lawyers involved in the case said.

Bradley's change-of-plea hearing is at 1 p.m. before newly sworn-in Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer at the county courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

The trial of the 23-year-old Port Angeles man had been set for Feb. 4.

Loren Oakley of Clallam Public Defender, representing Bradfield, and county Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall said this week that Bradfield had agreed to serve 20 years for killing Pimentel on Oct. 9, 2011.

“Theoretically, he could have gotten life,” Oakley said.

Pimentel, whose body was found near the Hood Canal Bridge in East Jefferson County, was developmentally disabled, as is Bradfield, Oakley said.

Bradfield, of Port Angeles, recently received a mental evaluation.

His disability “didn't rise to the level of insanity or diminished capacity,” Oakley said.

“It may have very well been a mitigating factor.”

Bradfield could have been sentenced to life in prison if a jury had found him guilty of murdering Pimentel, Oakley said.

“She was a particularly vulnerable victim because she was developmentally disabled,” he said.

Bradfield's girlfriend, Kendell K. Huether, 26, of Port Angeles has pleaded not guilty to first-degree rendering criminal assistance in connection with Pimentel's murder.

Huether has a status hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Her trial is set for Feb. 25.

Huether's lawyer, Karen Unger of Port Angeles, did not return calls Tuesday for comment about the case.

Bradfield and Huether were contacted by law enforcement as friends of Pimentel after Pimentel was reported as a missing-endangered person Oct. 10, 2011, according to court records.

Pimentel and Huether had been childhood friends and first met in a special-needs class in school, Henry Pimentel, Jennifer's father, said in an Oct. 23 Peninsula Daily News interview.

Bradfield initially told authorities Pimentel had run off to Kent with an unknown male but later admitted he had strangled Pimentel in Huether's apartment while Huether stood by.

Bradfield and Huether said they wrapped Pimentel's body in a blanket and transported it in a van to Jefferson County to dispose of while Huether's children were in the vehicle, according to court records.

Pimentel's body was found in a wooded area near Paradise Bay Road and state Highway 101.

Bradfield is being held in the Clallam County jail on $1 million bail.

Huether is living in Port Angeles on electronic home monitoring.

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 16. 2013 1:49PM
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