South Sound News

Pierce County man pleads guilty to killing pregnant ex-girlfriend in 2020

A Pierce County man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend in 2020 pleaded guilty to murder charges on Monday.

Colin Patrick Dudley waived his right to a trial, pled guilty, and was sentenced to 320 months of imprisonment.

Dudley was arrested in 2020 for the disappearance and death of Kassandra Cantrell, who was his ex-girlfriend. She was also pregnant. Dudley was the father.

Cantrell was found wrapped in trash bags on a hillside in University Place. An autopsy found she was stabbed and suffered skull fractures. Her car, a white Mazda, was found on East 25th Street in Tacoma.

Dudley initially told detectives he hadn’t seen Cantrell in years and didn’t know anything about her disappearance, according to charging documents.

Detectives later discovered surveillance footage showing a man parking Cantrell’s car, walking to another parking garage, and driving away in a truck, according to documents.

The truck belonged to Dudley, according to documents.

Documents also show Cantrell’s cell phone was tracked, showing investigators it was in the area of Dudley’s home around the time she disappeared.

Cantrell also bought 50-gallon trash bags on the same morning Cantrell disappeared, according to charging documents.

Dudley pled not guilty when he was arrested in September 2020. On Monday, he pled guilty and waived his right to make a statement before sentencing.

320 months was recommended by prosecutors after “months of negotiation,” prosecutors said in court on Monday.

However, family members of Cantrell favored a trial over a plea. Cantrell’s mother, father, and twin brother all spoke in court and asked the judge for a criminal trial.

Robert Cantrell, the twin brother of Kassandra Cantrell, said he and his family still have unanswered questions about Kassandra’s death and “want the the full truth” to be publicized through trial.

Marie, the mother of Kassandra, said she felt like Dudley was “choosing his punishment” and said a trial “is what Kassandra would’ve wanted.”