Wednesday, May 15, 2013
OKANOGAN Benjamin Robert Bridges will lose his right to possess a firearm and to vote after entering a guilty plea to first-degree murder in the October 2011 death of his girlfriend.
He has yet to be sentenced for killing Vickey Lee Renner-Harvey, 59.
Both lived in Omak.
Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Chris Culp approved the plea agreement worked out by Bridges’ attorneys and the county prosecutor less than a week before Bridges was scheduled for trial.
In his May 3 plea statement, Bridges, 47, said he was giving up his rights to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, to remain silent, to hear and question witnesses who would testify against him, to testify and have witnesses testify for him, to be presumed innocent and to appeal the finding of guilt.
The state is recommending with a 291-month prison.
Sentencing is set for June 20.
Bridges agreed to pay $1,110.50 in legal financial obligations, pay restitution, and spend 36 months in community custody after his prison term. A deadly weapons enhancement was dismissed.
“During the period of community custody, I will be under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, and I will have restrictions and requirements placed upon me,” Bridges’ statement said.
His right to possess a firearm was revoked, as was his voter registration.
A DNA sample will be taken.
Based on his offender score, the state recommended 291 months in prison, credit for days served, and payment of legal obligations and restitution.
Bridges has prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana over 40 grams, on May 14, 1996; unlawful possession of a controlled substance, heroin, on Dec. 2, 1991, and three counts of delivery of a controlled substance, cocaine, on Oct. 6, 2005.
The murder conviction is a “most serious offense” under the state’s “three strikes” law.
Renner-Harvey’s body was found Oct. 6, 2011, off Whitley Canyon Road near Brewster on the Douglas County side of the Columbia River. The case was filed in Douglas County and later transferred to Okanogan County.
An autopsy determined she died of at least four blows to the head and a broken neck. She appeared to have been sexually assaulted.
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