OLYMPIA, Wash. — James Stidd, who was found guilty last month of the 2016 murder of Olympia resident Gail Doyle, was sentenced Monday to 41 years in prison.
Stidd, a convicted felon, faced a count of second-degree murder while armed with a deadly weapon, four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
Friends and family were present at the sentencing hearing in Thurston County Superior Court.
In an interview with KIRO 7, Doyle’s niece, Myah Nedrow, referred to Doyle as “her second mom.”
When asked for comment on Stidd's 41-year sentence, Nedrow said, “I didn’t want the death penalty because he needs to suffer for what he did.”
Stidd plans to appeal the conviction, saying to the court that he had nothing to do with Doyle’s disappearance and he never harmed her.
“You don’t hit somebody with a hammer and not harm them? That makes no sense to me,” Nedrow said.
Doyle, 60, was last seen on June 2, 2016, at a local tavern arguing with Stidd, who claimed to have dropped her off later that night near a bowling alley. Stidd was originally booked in connection with an investigation on four counts of unlawful gun possession, but sheriff's officials also described him as a potential suspect in Doyle's disappearance.
A warrant was later issued for his arrest after detectives said they found blood splatter and strands of blond hair around a blood-covered hammer in Sidd’s garage.
Doyle’s remains were never found.
“He can claim all he wants, but he’s lied his whole life,” Nedrow said. “It’s just something that I think he’s done so often that he tries to believe it himself. He’s the master of manipulation. He knows he’s guilty. He’s just refusing to say anything.”
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