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Bender pleads guilty to murder of Sneed

SUQUAMISH — DuWayne Bender submitted a plea of guilty to the aggravated first degree murder charge Dec. 21. He will spend the rest of his life in jail with no opportunity for parole for slaying Barbara Sneed of Suquamish in late-July.

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge said he would not seek the death penalty in this case.

“It was pretty clear this was a case where the penalty would not be appropriate,” Hauge said, noting that because Bender had virtually no criminal history before the murder, life in jail without parole — one of only two possible punishments for this crime — was offered.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Bender’s family and possibly some members of Sneed’s family are expected to speak at the hearing. They attended Bender’s most recent hearing but have not been talking to the press.

Bender has been convicted of raping then stabbing the 65-year-old Sneed. A caretaker found Sneed in her Fern Street home July 27. He was arrested and charges were filled after the state’s crime lab matched DNA samples, which Bender voluntarily submitted following the murder, with evidence collected at the scene.

In addition to physical evidence, Hauge said Bender gave a “very detailed” confession of what he did. He apparently killed Sneed after she discovered he was burglarizing her home.

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