Suspect pleads guilty to murder of Makayla Young as family tearfully looks on

Apr. 30—Christy Young shook her head and let out an audible sigh while clutching a photo of her daughter Makayla Young as the man who murdered her pleaded guilty in a Spokane County Courtroom Friday morning.

Anthony Fuerte, 28, pleaded guilty to aggravated first-degree murder with a deadly weapon enhancement in exchange for the dismissal of robbery and carjacking charges.

Police found 24-year-old Makayla Young dead at the Rodeway Inn last February after a housekeeper spotted bloody towels outside the hotel room door. When officers arrived, they found her dead on the bed with her arm bent behind her back, partially nude, with bedding covering her nearly decapitated head, records show.

Shortly after her body was discovered, police connected Fuerte, who had already been arrested on the carjacking charges, to the murder.

Since then, the Young family has been hoping the court system would provide justice for Makayla by sending Fuerte to prison for life. The family opposed all of the plea agreements offered to Fuerte.

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"We feel like Makayla deserves more than this," sister Emily Young said outside of court last week. "She deserves more than a plea deal, and we're just really disappointed in our system."

The standard sentencing range for first-degree murder with Fuerte's offender score is 312 to 416 months, with a 24-month deadly weapons enhancement, said Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno. Offender scores help determine the sentencing range for new convictions by taking into account the type and frequency of prior offenses.

The plea agreement comes with a joint recommendation from the prosecution and the defense of a 30-year sentence followed by 36 months of community custody and a lifetime no-contact order against the Young family.

After the hearing Friday, the Young family declined to comment but indicated they plan to read victim impact statements at Fuerte's sentencing on May 24.

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