Maximum sentence meted out in 1996 murder

Setting aside a plea agreement that would have allowed the defendant to leave jail in a month and a half, Judge Russell W. Hartman imposed the maximum sentence Friday on Joseph Guendulain for killing a South Kitsap woman 10 years ago.

“To date, you have not been punished for your crime, and you should experience some punishment,” Hartman said, before telling Guendulain he was sentencing him to 164 months, the high end of the standard range and 3.5 years more than the plea agreement stipulated.

Guendualin, 73, pleaded guilty June 2 to killing Christine Rose, who was 46 when she was found stabbed to death on April 12, 1996, in the home they shared on McCormick Woods Drive.

Arrested while he was trying to leave the country the following month, Guendulain was soon determined incompetent to stand trial and was committed to Western State Hospital, where he remained until he was charged again with second-degree murder last year.

If Judge Hartman had followed the terms of the plea agreement and sentenced Guendulain to 123 months, the defendant would have been released in approximately six weeks after receiving credit for the last 121 months he has spent at Western State and in Kitsap County Jail.

“I am elated,” said Alan Rose, the victim’s younger brother, who listened to the sentencing by telephone Friday morning. “I am as happy as I can be under the circumstances, and I only hope he expires in jail.”

Rose had petitioned the court in both his impact statement and during the proceedings Friday to sentence Guendulain to the maximum sentence.

“Christine has a right to have justice served,” Rose said. “She was brutally stabbed to death by Joseph Guendulain, who gave up his right that night to be a part of the human race. If her life had any meaning at all, give him the maximum amount the law will allow.”

Guendulain was last to address Judge Hartman, describing Christine as “a very good friend (that he had) no reason at all to hurt,” and explaining that in the days leading up to her death he had been in “a very fragile mental situation” and did not have his necessary medication.

Before accepting his guilty plea two weeks ago, Judge Hartman advised Guendulain that although Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Morris was recommending he receive a 123-month sentence, he was not bound to that agreement.

“According to the statute, the punishment should fit the crime, and should promote respect for the law,” Hartman said Friday.

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