Emma Brown, the Glenoma woman accused of misleading authorities when they were investigating the disappearance of slain Randle teen Benjamin Eastman III, pleaded guilty Monday morning to two counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Brown’s plea came just on the heels of Benito Marquez, 17, pleading guilty on Friday to first-degree murder and other charges in Eastman’s death.
Brown, 21, is listed in court documents as the fiancé of murder suspect Jonathon Adamson. Adamson, along with Marquez, his brother, is charged in Eastman’s June beating death.
Brown was accused of withholding information on Eastman’s whereabouts when deputies still believed he was a missing person, though she was already aware of the homicide.
Represented in court by attorney Jakob McGhie, Brown’s plea was entered as an Alford plea, meaning, McGhie said to Judge James Lawler, she doesn’t necessarily agree with the charges against her, however if the evidence is presented to a jury, she acknowledges they will likely find her guilty.
According to a letter sent to McGhie by Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, if Brown is to plead guilty to both counts against her and follow a list of other orders, the charges will be downgraded later. One of the counts will be changed to a non-felony count of rendering criminal assistance and the other to making a false statement. The recommended sentence from the prosecutor’s office will be credit for time served.
Among the list of things Brown must complete to comply with the plea agreement is making a recorded statement to law enforcement, passing a polygraph test and serving as a state witness in any other case connected to hers. Currently, the only other person attached to Brown’s case that hasn’t pleaded guilty is Adamson. Adamson was slated to plead guilty the morning of Feb. 22. However, he indicated to his attorney, Don Blair, that he didn’t want to follow through with the plea. The hearing was stricken. He’s currently set to go to trial the week of Aug. 5.
Marquez additionally agreed to serve as a state witness as part of his plea deal, as did the murder suspects’ mother, Kindra Adamson — who pleaded guilty last year to two counts of rendering criminal assistance. Kindra Adamson was also charged with misleading authorities during the investigation.
Brown waived her right to a speedy sentencing, meaning she doesn’t have to be sentenced within 40 days of her plea. She has a review hearing on March 28.