• Lewis County teen pleads guilty to raping, murdering best friend

    By: Shelby Miller

    Updated:

    A Lewis County teen charged in the rape and murder of his best friend pleaded guilty Friday in court.

    Benito Marquez, 17, had been friends with the victim, Benjamin Eastman, 16, since they were kids.

    “I find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree rape, tampering with evidence and unlawful disposal of remains,” said Judge James Lawler.

    Eastman's father, BJ Eastman, said he has mixed feelings about the plea.

    "Some closure and some anger because you find out more details of exactly what they did. You know, it's horrific. You got to relive that as you go on this process. It's just no good. No good at all,” said BJ Eastman.

    Marquez and Benjamin Eastman were both sophomores last year at White Pass Junior-Senior High School. Investigators said Marquez and his older brother, Jonathon Adamson, 21, lured in Eastman by inviting him on a camping trip. They then brutally beat him, raped him with a stick and murdered him.

    On June 28, 2018, investigators found Eastman’s body buried in a shallow grave on property the Marquez family owns.

    Marquez has been locked up in Lewis County since July 2. Adamson is also being held there.

    Officials said multiple family members were involved in the coverup.

    Their mother, Kindra Adamson, 43, pleaded guilty to providing criminal assistance after deputies said she lied to investigators as her sons tried to escape. Police said Adamson's fiancée, Emma Brown, 20, is expected to plead guilty to the same charge Monday.

    Despite everything that's happened, BJ Eastman just wants people to fondly remember his son.

    “You just look at the pictures. It said it all. He loved his family. He'd do anything to go do something with his family, trade anything he had going on. He was my heart, and I miss him,” he said.

    The prosecutor’s office is recommending Marquez be sentenced to 413 months in prison, which adds up to nearly 35 years. He won’t be sentenced until after his brother’s trial, which is scheduled to start Aug. 5.
     


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