Man sentenced for concealing body
June 12, 2008 · Updated 10:19 AM
"A South Kitsap man was sentenced March 9 in Kitsap County District Court to 60 days in jail and fined $1,250 for fourth-degree domestic violence assault, third-degree driving with a suspended license and concealing the body of a deceased man.The concealment of a deceased body charge is the first to be heard in the state, according to Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Jahns, the attorney prosecuting the case.Matthew Byron Stegman, 31, was in custody March 1 for a domestic violence assault charge in which he allegedly grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and choked her. During his trial, the Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office also tried charges for driving with a suspended license and concealing the body, a misdemeanor that was in the process of having a trial date set.Sheriff's Office detectives last year investigated the events leading to the concealment charge after the body of Port Orchard resident Joaquin Uncle Kenny Barcinas was found on a brushy trail about 200 yards from a power line road in Pierce County. A bicyclist discovered Barcinas' body and called police.Barcinas had been released from jail on bail around Oct. 19, 2000 following an arrest for a methamphetamine charge. By Oct. 25, his family had filed a missing person's report with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.Barcinas' girlfriend said he was upset after his release because a man referred to in court documents as his nephew was the informant who turned him into West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team agents.Another acquaintance of Barcinas said he was upset about the amount of jail time he was facing. At one point, Barcinas allegedly commented he would get less time for murder than he got for the drug charges. Barcinas was a methamphetamine manufacturer, according to court documents, though friends said he was seeking drug rehabilitation treatment.Around Oct. 21, Barcinas left the house where he was staying with his girlfriend to sell jewelry with a female friend. He told his girlfriend he'd be back in about an hour. The female friend who left with him told police they ended up at the residence of the woman who had posted Barcinas' bail. Stegman told police Barcinas brought the jewelry to the woman for bailing him out of jail, but the woman told police Barcinas brought the jewelry and a gun to sell for drugs.Barcinas went into a fifth-wheel trailer on the woman's property and was inside for some time when Stegman approached the woman in the car and told her Barcinas was going to stay and talk to his nephew and she had to leave. The woman in the car told detectives she asked if she could have her jewelry back, but was told no, so she left.According to court documents, Barcinas and four other people were hanging out in the fifth-wheel trailer when the woman who owned the trailer and Stegman went outside to meet someone. She allegedly returned with a gun.Shortly afterward, one of the men in the fifth-wheel was looking over court paperwork with Barcinas when he muttered something in Guamanian about being too old to go back to jail and shot himself in the head. The others in the fifth-wheel trailer told detectives they looked up when they heard a pop and saw Barcinas slumping toward the floor.A medical investigator concluded Barcinas died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right temple.Stegman told police after Barcinas shot himself, he ran outside and told the woman who drove Barcinas there to leave.He said they were upset that Barcinas shot himself in front of them and weren't sure what to do with his body. They took his pulse and determined he was dead, so they left the fifth-wheel and went to the woman's main trailer to determine what to do.They called a friend who is also Guamanian to ask what they should do with Barcinas' body. Several of the people in the trailer told detectives they were concerned with respecting his body and religious beliefs.The man told them to dispose of the body somewhere it would be found easily. It was almost morning when Stegman and another man loaded Barcinas' body into the woman's GMC Jimmy. After putting his body into the vehicle, Stegman told police, he went back into the trailer and cut out the carpet where Barcinas shot himself and burned it in the burn barrel.When they found the Pierce County site, the men, who wore plastic bags on their hands, positioned Barcinas and the gun to make it look like the suicide happened off the power line trail.When the men returned to the fifth-wheel, they burned the blankets used to carry Barcinas' body and a piece of the carpet from the Jimmy in the burn barrel.The woman said they didn't call police because she didn't want her children to know someone killed himself in her trailer. Investigators said they likely did not call police because of suspected drug activity and outstanding warrants. Two other people present in the fifth-wheel - the other man who helped transport Barcinas' body and the woman who owned it - are awaiting trial for their part in helping to conceal Barcinas' body following his suicide. "