Murder sentence is reduced by 17 years

first_imgOn a January night in 2001, Jay Rich slit the throat of his co-worker at a Battle Ground Safeway and, later, dumped the body in a remote area of Larch Mountain.Rich pleaded guilty later that year to first-degree murder. A Clark County judge, citing four aggravating factors, sentenced him to an exceptional punishment of 45 years in prison.With that sentence, victim Bryce Powers’ family said they believed justice had been served.On Friday, Rich was resentenced to a reduced 28 years because of a legal technicality in the way exceptional sentences are imposed.The family called it an injustice.“My grandson will never be able to appeal his death sentence,” Clyde Powers said Friday, calling Rich a “predator.”The Court of Appeals threw out Rich’s 45-year sentence because of a change in the interpretation of the law, assigning juries, not judges, the power to give sentences outside the standard sentencing range.During Friday’s hour-and-a-half resentencing hearing before Clark County Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson, Powers’ relatives spent much of the time speaking about the brutality of the murder and their frustration after the Court of Appeals’ decision.In handing down the new sentence, the judge was sympathetic to the victim’s family. She said it was “regrettable” that the action causes pain for Powers’ family.last_img read more