Dragging Death Suspect Enters Guilty Plea

NEWPORT, Wash. — Wendell Sinn Jr., the 45-year-old Spokane Valley man responsible for a college student’s dragging death, plead guilty Monday in a Pend Oreille County courtroom.

Sinn entered an alford plea, claiming innocence in Jerid Camyn’s death, but acknowledging that there is enough evidence to convict him.

Koni Buell supported the prosecutor’s decision to offer Sinn a plea agreement, but only because it guaranteed he would be going to prison. Buell, the victim’s mother, thinks Sinn should have been convicted of murder.

Sinn’s plea agreement allows him to avoid a possible Second Degree Murder conviction that could have landed him life in prison. By entering his alford plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter, Sinn faces no more than a 27 month sentence.

Sinn’s agreement also spares his teenage son from prosecution. Justin Sinn was the person actually driving the pickup truck that dragged the victim. His father’s plea means the high school student won’t be held responsible for the killing, but Buell thinks he should be.

“Justin Sinn was well aware he was dragging Jerid,” said Koni. “What Wendell and Justin Sinn did that night was horrific, unacceptable and completely avoidable.”

Buell is comforted knowing Sinn is going to prison, but believes the punishment should have been harsher.

“Wendell Sinn deserves to be punished and spend the rest of his life in prison for taking my son’s life,” she said.

Monday’s proceedings convicted Sinn of putting a rope around Camyn’s neck last November at a remote campsite. Camyn had become an unwelcome visitor at the campsite, Sinn says he tied Camyn to his pickup after he threatened Sinn with an ax.

However Buell says Sinn shouldn’t be able to claim he was acting in self defense that night.

“Jerid was not a threat to anyone at the campsite that night and there’s ample evidence to prove that,” said Buell. “Only a truly evil person could think of, plan out, and follow through putting a rope around my son’s neck who was walking away from him.”

In the courtroom, Camyn’s family asked the judge to take Sinn into custody until his sentencing next Monday. The judge agreed, shocking Sinn’s family who cried as he was led away in handcuffs.

Deputy Prosecutor Tony Koures says he plans to ask the judge for the maximum sentence possible when Sinn appears in Pend Oreille Superior Court next Monday.