A 16-year-old boy who stands to spend the next four decades behind bars pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder in the June 26 shooting death of Larry Kloes, 49, of Snohomish.
Jeremy Richard Boone of Sumner is one of three Pierce County youths charged in the death, an apparent revenge killing. In court, Boone admitted he was the one who shot Kloes.
The victim’s mother, Leilia Kloes of Snohomish, said Friday’s admission “doesn’t give us any joy. It’s a tragedy for the Boone family and the Kloes family.”
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Gerald Knight is scheduled to sentence Boone Oct. 21.
Besides murder, Boone pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery – all while possessing a firearm. Under law, Boone will have to serve at least 35 years, including the underlying penalty for murder and required extra penalties for possessing a firearm during commission of the crimes.
Defense lawyer Steve Garvey complained that the penalty was too harsh.
“I find it interesting Mr. Boone can’t buy a pack of cigarettes at his age, but he can sign a 35-year lease on a prison cell,” Garvey told Knight.
Hunter said he will recommend a 40-year prison term, slightly more than the low end of the standard sentencing range. The high end is about 46 years.
“I think this defendant is remorseful and willing to accept responsibility. You don’t always see that,” Hunter said.
Garvey said he’ll ask for an exceptionally low sentence of 35 years. “I think there are grounds for an exceptional sentence down,” he said.
In court, Boone signed a statement admitting that he and two others went to the Kloes house with the intention of stealing items. Garvey said he typed out the statement, and his client agreed that’s what happened.
“He was not supposed to be home. We entered the house without his permission with the intent to steal personal property that we knew included many guns,” the statement said.
Boone said he helped take guns and other property and put them in Kloes’ car, which the three also intended to steal.
“We then decided to kill him. With premeditated intent, we caused Mr. Kloes’ death. I am the one that actually shot him,” the statement said.
Prosecutors allege a 15-year-old boy, a former neighbor of Kloes, recruited Boone and Perry Marshall Rothermel, 18, of Puyallup, to help him burglarize Kloes’ home. Rothermel is charged with first-degree murder, robbery and burglary.
Prosecutors said Kloes earlier had turned the 15-year-old in to police for stealing from him.
The 15-year-old is charged in Snohomish County Juvenile Court. State law specifies that 16-year-olds charged with serious crimes automatically be tried in adult court. The Herald normally does not report the names of juvenile criminal defendants.
On Monday, Knight is scheduled to start a hearing to determine if the 15-year-old’s case should remain in Juvenile Court or be transferred to adult court.
Hunter says he will seek an aggravated murder charge for the 15-year-old if he is tried in adult court. Conviction of aggravated murder carries a penalty of life in prison without release.
Leilia Kloes, the victim’s mother, said she has sympathy for Boone, Rothermel and their families, but not for the 15-year-old. She said she hopes he is imprisoned for life
“I hold (him) responsible,” she said. “He didn’t learn anything” from his earlier arrest. “He came out of there with a plan for revenge.”
Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.