Murder plea in beating death of Anacortes man

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MOUNT VERNON — A man accused of beating his girlfriend's step-grandfather to death pleaded guilty Wednesday in Mount Vernon to first-degree murder.

The 33-year-old, Ashlee Smith, faces a minimum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 27 in Skagit County Superior Court.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports Smith and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Ami Morin, clashed with 69-year-old Dean Jackson of Anacortes after he tried to kick them out of his home and restricted their use of his vehicles.

Morin is charged with second-degree murder. A friend who is accused of helping hide evidence, Phillip Jones, is charged with criminal assistance.