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Sirens & Gavels

Man gets 10 years for beating death

A Spokane transient has been sentenced to 10 ½ years in prison for the slaying of a 46-year-old man last April.

Roland E. Benton II, 35, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter with a deadly weapon for the beating death of Douglas J. Klages.

Klages' bludgeoned body was found April 30 in a small cave at Camp Caro Community Park at Dishman Hills.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza sentenced Benton to 126 months, which is the high end of the sentencing range for the manslaughter charge.

The charge came with a deadly weapon enhancement that mandated two years in prison. Benton had been charged with first-degree murder before attorneys worked out a plea agreement.

In solving the case, detectives retraced Klages’ final hours and found video of him leaving a Spokane Valley Rosauers store with Benton on the day Klages’ body was discovered by hikers in the area.

Detectives arrested Benton May 5. He'd been released from jail just days before the slaying.

Past coverage:

May 5: Homicide victim hoped for fresh start


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