A man who was awaiting trial for second-degree murder accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors Friday and has admitted his guilt in the November 2021 killing of a 62-year-old Quilcene man as he sat …
A man who was awaiting trial for second-degree murder accepted a plea agreement with prosecutors Friday and has admitted his guilt in the November 2021 killing of a 62-year-old Quilcene man as he sat in his living room the day after Thanksgiving.
Blake Robert Fox, 38, has been incarcerated in Jefferson County Jail on $500,000 bail since his arrest Nov. 27.
During a brief appearance in Jefferson County Superior Court on Sept. 30, Blake changed his "not guilty" pleading to "guilty" before Superior Court Judge Keith Harper.
Blake will be sentenced Oct. 28.
Prosecutors have alleged that Fox shot Robin L. Richards on the night after Thanksgiving as Richards was unarmed and sitting in a chair just inside the front door of his home on McInnis Road in Quilcene.
Authorities allege that Fox had been visiting Richards along with a woman and her 6-year-old daughter.
After Fox stepped outside to smoke a cigarette, prosecutors alleged he came back in and started shooting.
The woman told a detective that Fox had been standing in the foyer when he opened fire.
After the shots, Richards said, “He killed me,” the witness told police.
The woman also said she saw a weapon in Fox’s hand. Her 6-year-old daughter had been asleep on a couch at the time.
Fox fired a revolver at Richards at least three times; two bullet holes were found in the front door, and two additional holes were discovered in the chair where Richards had been sitting.
The woman said Fox ran away after the shooting, then came back to see if the woman's 6-year-old daughter was hurt.
Fox then fled the scene in a red Ford F-150 pickup, leading to a 12-hour search that included an appeal by law enforcement for the public’s help on social media, with a post with his driver’s license photo and a photograph of the type of Ford pickup he drove from the scene.
The manhunt ended when Fox's Ford pickup ran out of gas in Chimacum and he fled into the forest near West Valley Road.
A Jefferson County detective was eventually able to get Fox on the phone, and Fox finally agreed to come out of the woods.
Fox also briefly mentioned the dispute at the home in Quilcene that led to the deadly shooting, allegedly saying: “I should have just left, the way they were talking to me.”
Authorities later searched Fox’s bedroom at his parents’ house and found an AR-15 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. Authorities also discovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition in eight different calibers.
Last week, authorities said Richards was hit once in the chest from the three shots.
Ballistics testing were done on a revolver that was taken from Fox and prosecutors said the results of the test showed the handgun that had been seized by police fired the fatal shot.
Fox gave only brief answers during his Superior Court appearance Friday and did not provide the court with a written admission of his guilt.
When the judge asked how Fox would plead now to the charge of second-degree murder, he gave a one-word answer: "Guilty."
"I'll find you guilty," Harper responded, adding that he would sign and approve the plea agreement.
Fox has no prior criminal history. He is facing a standard sentencing range of 123 to 220 months in prison, and community custody of 36 months.
The plea agreement includes the dismissal of a firearm enhancement to the second-degree murder charge, which could have allowed for a longer prison sentence.
Prosecutors have recommended a prison sentence of 171.5 months, with three years of probation, restitution, and standard court costs and fees.
Jefferson County Prosecutor James Kennedy thanked those involved in the prosecution and called out Deputy Prosecutor Tuppence Macintyre for her work on the case.
“Deputies did excellent work to peacefully apprehend the defendant less than 24 hours after the murder," Kennedy said in a press release Saturday.
"Once they took him into custody, our newest, but most experienced deputy prosecutor was
assigned the case," Kennedy said of Macintyre. "Though new to our office, she was able to work with local law enforcement and get justice for the family. I appreciate her hard work and dedication."
"I know the family will always mourn the loss of Mr. Richards, but I hope this plea helps with the grieving process,” he added.
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