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Ferry County man pleads guilty to murdering stepfather

A Ferry County man pleaded guilty Friday to strangling and beating his stepfather to death with a tire iron while his frightened ex-girlfriend hid nearby.

Morgan Eugene Christensen, enraged that his mother and stepfather had housed his ex-girlfriend to protect her from physical abuse by Christensen, broke into the couple’s home October 2012, according to a news release.

Witnesses reported seeing Christensen standing outside his parents’ house the night before the murder, holding a hammer and threatening to kill his stepfather, Brian Brill, according to the release. He tried unsuccessfully to break into the home, but returned the next day, bursting into the home and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Christensen’s ex-girlfriend fled and hid, but Christensen found his stepfather and beat him with a tire iron and strangled him, according to the release. Christensen’s ex-girlfriend was hiding nearby and could hear as Christensen beat Brill.

Christensen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a deadly weapon and first-degree burglary, according to the release. He faces life sentences for each charge. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 13 in Ferry County Superior Court.