VANCOUVER, Wash. — A teen-ager who "lost his temper" has admitted killing a 20-year-old co-worker at a Safeway store.
Jay Rich, 18, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree felony murder in the January killing of Clark College student Bryce Powers. In a statement to Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson, Rich said he slit Powers’ throat with a knife.
Although Rich said he took Powers’ wallet, he told the judge that robbery was not a motive in the killing. He also denied jealousy played a role; Powers was dating Rich’s former girlfriend.
Defense attorney Jeff Sowder said Rich, a B-plus student at Evergreen High School who had no criminal record, never offered an explanation for the slaying.
"He lost his temper. We’ve never come up with anything other than that," Sowder said.
Rich faces at least 22 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. Clark County Prosecutor Art Curtis said he’ll seek a 50-year sentence.
After he killed Powers, Rich dragged Powers’ body outside, hid it and went back to work. After work, he put the body in the trunk of his car and drove to Larch Mountain.
Rich was turned over to police by his stepfather, who found Powers’ wallet in Rich’s bedroom.
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