Teen pleads guilty, his brother to face trial in Benjamin Eastman murder

RANDLE, Wash. -- There was a surprising twist Friday in the case of a Randle teen and the two brothers charged with killing him and leaving his body in a shallow grave.

While one of the brothers pleaded guilty to multiple charges, the other backed out of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

With his head down, his wrists and ankles in shackles, 17-year-old Benito Marquez entered court Friday to plead guilty to first-degree murder and rape in the death of  Benjamin Eastman.  Prosecutors say while those charges carry a maximum sentence of life behind bars, a judge will wait to sentence Marquez until after he appears as a witness in the trial of his older brother, Jonathan Adamson.

Benjamin Eastman, 16, of Randle.
(Photo: Courtesy of family via Lewis County Sheriff's Office)

After striking a plea deal with prosecutors, Adamson was also expected to enter a guilty plea Friday as well. However, he backed out at the last minute and called the hearing off.

Eastman's father was understandably upset after the hearing.

"Some closure, but some anger, you know? 'Cause you find out more details of exactly what they did and it was just horrific," said BJ Eastman.

The details of the murder shocked the small town of Randle. Prosecutors say the suspects lured Eastman into the woods, where they kicked him more than 100 times, sexually assaulted him and beat him with a rock.

In January, BJ Eastman told Q13 about how his son's school had turned his locker into a memorial dedicated to him and his family. His father shared how he created a new foundation in his son's honor called "Blessings for Benjamin," hoping to help families dealing with the loss of a child.

The mother of the two defendants as well as another woman are charged with assisting Marquez and Adamson after learning about the crime. Adamson's case is now expected to go to trial. It's unclear why he changed his mind Friday.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.