SEATTLE — This was a particularly gruesome murder. The victim's body was dismembered, parts of it found in trash cans in the Central area.
Monday's plea means that the family will not have to hear those details in an open courtroom.
John Charlton never looked at his parents as he walked past them into a King County courtroom. This is the first time the public has seen the 38-year-old ex-convict in more than a year. That is when he was charged with killing Ingrid Lyne, a 40-year-old Renton mother he met on a dating website.
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This time, he confessed that he strangled Lyne then stole her car.
"Do you want this court to accept your guilty pleas?" asked King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector.
"Yes, your honor," said Charlton. "I do."
Ingrid Lyne disappeared after a date she and Charlton had to a Seattle Mariners game in April of 2016. A day later, a homeowner in Seattle's Central area found her partial remains in a recycling bin. More remains were found several days later at a Seattle recycling center.
Still Charlton never talked in court about how he took Lyne's body apart. The King County senior deputy prosecutor was asked why he hadn't?
"It wasn't discussed here because it isn't part of the charges that he plead guilty to," said Jeff Baird.
Baird conceded Charlton's plea received a mixed reception from Lyne's family, including her ex-husband who witnessed it.
"But I think and hope that ultimately they'll be relieved," he said, "that they won't have to delve too deeply into the events that led (to) her death and followed her death."
As part of his plea deal, Charlton agreed to accept the sentence the King County prosecutor is recommending: 333 months or nearly 30 years in prison.
© 2020 Associated Press