A Spokane man accused of gunning down his girlfriend faces mandatory life imprisonment if convicted of murder.
Gary Quarles has a long criminal record, including violent crimes exposing him to Washington’s “Three Strikes, You’re Out” law.
His prior “strikes” are convictions for Pierce County robberies in 1988 and 1992, authorities said.
Because of that, Deputy Prosecutor Dannette Allen expects the case to go to trial in June.
“There’s just no room for negotiation,” she said.
Even without “Three Strikes,” the 30-year-old Quarles was facing a stiff sentence if convicted of first-degree murder: from 34 to 46 years.
Before dawn on Aug. 13, he allegedly shot his girlfriend, Tina Langford, twice in the chest.
Quarles’ .22-caliber handgun was found outside the South Coeur d’Alene Street home in Spokane’s Vinegar Flats neighborhood where Langford, 29, was staying, according to detectives.
Police arrested Quarles a short time later as he and a friend were leaving the Red Top Motel on East Trent.
The friend said Quarles confessed to the killing, saying, “I shot Tina for real.”
Langford’s relatives and friends described her as a classic domestic violence victim - verbally abused, threatened and beaten by Quarles, the father of their 2-year-old daughter.
Both were addicted to crack, but Langford was trying to kick the habit, friends said.
A few days before the fatal shooting, police said Quarles was seen holding a gun to her head.
Allen said there were several witnesses to the killing, but until a couple of weeks ago, one of them had disappeared.
Detectives arrested Medora Nanoff in Snohomish County and had her booked into the Spokane County Jail as a material witness.
She will remain behind bars until lawyers make arrangements to videotape her account of the bloodshed - just in case she vanishes prior to trial.
Quarles has pleaded innocent to the murder charge. He is being held in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
His attorney, Assistant Public Defender George Caplan, said he is preparing legal challenges to the “Three Strikes” law.