Girlfriend of suspect in triple murder sentenced

She may still testify in ongoing Woodland case against Brent Luyster

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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The woman who drove off with a man suspected of killing three people in July was sentenced to a year of community custody Friday, and she may testify in the ongoing triple-murder case.

Andrea Sibley, 27, pleaded guilty Sept. 16 to first-degree rendering criminal assistance. She was accused of picking up and driving away with her boyfriend, Brent Luyster, after he allegedly shot four people July 15 at a rural home southeast of Woodland.

Luyster is accused of killing Joseph Mark Lamar, Zachary David Thompson and Janell Renee Knight — and critically wounding Brianne L.A. Leigh — after arriving at the house before Sibley.

Sibley drove up later, then went with Luyster to the Long Beach area at some point following the shootings, prosecutors say.

As a manhunt was underway through Southwest Washington, investigators repeatedly attempted to call Sibley on her cellphone, Clark County Deputy Prosecutor James Smith said in court Friday.

At some point, Sibley also bought food and some sundries at a Thriftway.

The search didn’t last long: Authorities caught up with and arrested Luyster the next day along Ocean Beach Highway, west of Longview.

When she spoke to officers, Sibley she did not know what went on before Luyster climbed in her car, only that “bad things happened,” according to court records.

Sibley told police she wasn’t threatened, Smith said, adding she had every reason to believe Luyster was wanted by law enforcement when she picked him up, and afterward.

Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis sentenced her for her 57 days of time served in jail and one year of community custody — after protests and pleas for something harsher from friends and family of the victims — under sentencing options for first-time offenders.

“She is not receiving this plea bargain in exchange for her testimony, but now that she has resolved her case, the state is free to call her as a witness” without creating a situation where she might invoke her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, Smith said later Friday.

Luyster, a known white supremacist, is accused of three counts of aggravated first-degree murder with the use of a firearm, attempted first-degree murder with the use of a firearm, and first- and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

A charge of aggravated murder carries the possibility of the death penalty. Although Gov. Jay Inslee in 2014 suspended all executions in the state while he’s in office, that doesn’t prevent prosecutors from pursuing capital punishment.

 

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Correction appended: The article originally misstated Mark Joseph Lamar’s name.

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