Resentencing Denied in 2005 Bob Mars Murder Case
Tuesday, December 13th, the Benton County Prosecutor's office announced one of a pair of shocking murder convicts will not be allowed the option of resentencing.
Bob Mars murder suspect will serve the rest of the original sentence.
It was back in early September 2004 when Robert Suarez and Jordan Castillo, ages 16 and 14, fatally stabbed Bob Mars, who was a popular wrestling and football coach and teacher at Ki-Be High School in Benton City. The coach had returned from a football road trip and had stopped by the school. The two teens had asked him for change to make a phone call, and he offered to let them use his office phone.
Prosecutors said the two were performing a gang initiation, and they stabbed the coach, leaving him to bleed out at the scene. In 2005, Suarez was given the maximum 320-month sentence for the crime, or roughly 26 years, meaning he would remain in prison through at least 2031.
New state guidelines allow for resentencing
According to Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller, Suarez has asked to be resentenced, utilizing new state court guidelines that take into effect a suspect's age when they commit a serious crime. However, according to Miller, who was the original prosecutor in the case, the facts, and circumstances of the crime did not support this idea:
"Kris Mars, King Mars, Kody Mars and Kyler Mars, the widow and children of Bob Mars, gave powerful victim impact statements during the hearing. They reminded the Court that the pain of losing their husband and father still continues 18 years after the murder. Judge Jackie Stam ruled in favor of the Prosecutor’s office and denied the motion for resentencing."
Mars was a popular and influential teacher and sports figure, and one of the biggest wrestling tournaments in the Pacific Northwest was named after him years ago. This year, Kennewick High hosted the Bob Mars Invitational on December 3rd.
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