MOUNTVERNON, Wash. - Ten days before he was set to stand trial for murder, Kenneth McBride, 36, now admits he is guilty of murder.
McBride was long suspected of murdering Jeremy Skully, 28, a subsitute teacher and track coach at Ferndale High School.
McBride, who has been in jail for about year, was clean shaven and in handcuffs in a Skagit County Courtroom today. Despite the complicated case built against him, today's plea hearing was short and simple but a surprise to prosecutors.
I think this is a settlement that we're satisfied with, said Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich. We are satisfied, the police are satisfied and I think that the family is accepting of it.
According to court records, McBride and his wife were part of a swinging lifestyle. They were very open about having multiple sex parners. ButMcBride grew jealous when he realized his wife was falling in love with Jeremy Skully, a court affidavit says.
Skully disappeared on April 24, 2008. His body was found three days later on Blanchard Mountain. Skully had been shot to death.
But Ken McBride was not arrested until a full year later.McBride told investigators that he spent most of the day that Skully dissappeared at his home searching for jobs. The day he went missing, Skully had plans to help McBride with work on his home in Alger, according to a court affidavit. That was the last time Skully was seen alive.
By pleading guilty, McBride agrees to a 23-year prison term. A sentencing date has been set for August 27.
About 2 hours after the guilty plea, Skully's family releasedthe followingstatement:
We are pleased that today Kenneth McBride has accepted responsibility for Jeremy s murder and admitted his guilt. While nothing can change the loss suffered by Jeremy s family, friends, and the athletes he coached, the fact Mr. McBride will face the punishment he deserves for committing this senseless and cowardly act is some comfort to those of us who knew and loved Jeremy. We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the members of the law enforcement community and to the Skagit County Prosecutor s office for their efforts and assistance.