Port Angeles woman to plead guilty to assisting admitted killer

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles woman who is charged with rendering criminal assistance to Kevin A. Bradfield, the man who has pleaded guilty to strangling Jennifer Pimentel to death in October 2011, intends to plead guilty to the charge, her attorney announced in court Monday.

Kendell K. Huether, 26, was scheduled to go to trial this week on charges of first-degree rendering criminal assistance and two counts of tampering with a witness.

Huether, however, maintains her innocence on the witness tampering charges, and a one-week trial was reset to April 15.

Huether was accused of helping Bradfield hide Pimentel's remains in a wooded area near the Hood Canal Bridge in east Jefferson County.

First-degree rendering criminal assistance is a Class C felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison or $10,000 fine, according to the charge.

Six weeks after Huether's arrest, prosecutors added two counts of witness tampering — also Class C felonies — after two of Huether's acquaintances told investigators that she had asked them to lie about seeing Pimentel alive after her disappearance.

Bradfield on Jan. 16 pleaded guilty to strangling Pimentel, a 27-year-old developmentally disabled woman and a childhood friend of Huether's, in Huether's Port Angeles apartment Oct. 9, 2011.

He and Huether led authorities to Pimentel's body on Oct. 19.

Bradfield, 23, will be sentenced on the murder charge next Tuesday in Clallam County Superior Court.

If the court imposes the recommended sentence that attorneys negotiated, Bradfield will serve 20 years. He awaits his sentencing hearing in the Clallam County jail.

Meanwhile, defense attorney Karen Unger told Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer on Monday that Huether will plead to guilty to the rendering criminal assistance charge.

A change of plea hearing had not been set as of Monday afternoon.

Unger and Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ann Lundwall were not immediately available for comment Monday.

Huether has been living in Port Angeles on electronic home monitoring.

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

Last modified: February 25. 2013 6:40PM
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