A West Richland man was sentenced Wednesday to one year and three months in prison for taking a wallet, TV and other electronics from the Benton City home of a man who was found dead hours later.
Craig L. Nunamaker, 29, and his attorney had asked for a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, which would have allowed him to serve his time in inpatient treatment instead of behind bars.
However, Judge Cameron Mitchell denied the request and opted to go with the prosecution’s recommendation for prison at the bottom of the standard range for the crime.
Nunamaker has been locked up on the residential burglary since Jan. 28, a day after the body of Leslie “Les” Young Jr. was found by his parents in the living room of his home.
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Young, 52, lived in a travel trailer next to his parents on Angeline Boulevard.
Young’s death has not been classified as a homicide, though Benton County sheriff’s investigators have said it is suspicious. The findings of an autopsy have been withheld until Benton County Coroner John Hansens receives test results.
Young and Nunamaker were seen together the evening of Jan. 26, though court documents don’t give details about where or for how long.
Young reportedly spent some time shooting pool at the Palm Bar & Grill in Benton City.
Nunamaker claims he went to Young’s home about 1 a.m. He said Young was still alive, though in a “semi-conscious state,” when he entered the trailer after no one answered his knock on the door, court documents said.
He took a flat-screen TV, DVD player, cellphone and a wallet. All of the missing items, except for the wallet, were recovered.
Detectives were called to the home after Young was found dead and realized a burglary also had been committed when they noticed unconnected cords and cables. They said a chain was attached to Young’s pants but the clip was broken where a wallet normally would be.
Terry Teske has told the Herald that her brother, who was a former design engineer, appeared to have been badly beaten. Young’s family believes he was killed.
When Nunamaker pleaded guilty in February to the burglary, Prosecutor Andy Miller wrote in court documents that the plea “doesn’t prevent further charges for anything regarding death of (the) victim in this case.”