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Sentencing set for Friday in 1996 murder

A 73-year-old South Kitsap man will be sentenced on Friday for stabbing his girlfriend, a punishment the family of Christine Rose has been waiting 10 years to see handed down.

“It is as if my life was placed on hold (when I was) 19, and at 29, I am still waiting for (Joseph Guendulain) to take responsibility or be held accountable,” wrote Monica Rose-Ziglar, the daughter of the 46-year-old woman who was living with Guendulain near the McCormick Woods golf course when she was killed in April of 1996. “Not only did I lose my mother to Guendulain’s calculated and vicious actions ... but now I have to beg someone else to take responsibility for his conviction and sentencing.”

Guendulain faces a maximum of 164 months, or 13.6 years in prison, after pleading guilty June 2 to second-degree murder in Rose’s death. The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office has recommended the minimum sentence of 124 months, or 10.25 years.

However, since Guendulain was originally declared incompetent to stand trial and has spent nearly all of the past ten years hospitalized at Western State Hospital since his arrest on May 9, 1996, whatever sentence he receives will be reduced by approximately 121 months.

“How can he be set free when he has not spent one day behind bars?” Rose-Ziglar wrote about the possibility of Guendulain receiving little actual prison time. “I ask for the maximum sentence without the possibility of parole. Please do not forget that this man is a murderer.”

Christine’s father, Horace B. Rose, also wrote a victim impact statement for Judge Russell W. Hartman.

In it Rose states his belief that Guendulain was sane at the time of his daughter’s murder, despite the fact that the defendant was originally declared incompetent to stand trial.

“He was smart enough to try and fly to Chile, which does not have an extradition pact with the United States,” Rose wrote, referring to the fact that Guendulain was ultimately arrested while attempting to fly from Canada to Santiago. “Had he not been pulled off that plane ... he might be a free man today. He took a life, he should spend the rest of his life jailed.”

Guendulain was 63 when he was originally arrested for the murder of Rose, with whom he had recently moved in with on McCormick Woods Drive.

Shortly after he was charged with murder, Guendulain was declared incompetent to stand trial and was transferred to Western State. He was then re-committed every six months thereafter until last June, when Kitsap County re-filed the murder charge against him and he was evaluated again to determine his competency to stand trial.

This time, Margaret Dean and Marilyn Ronnei — both evaluators for the hospital’s Program for Forensic Evaluations in Corrections and the Community — determined that Guendulain was not insane, and instead has been “feigning” mental illness to avoid standing trial.

He will be sentenced Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Kitsap County Superior Court.

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