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Friday, March 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rathdrum man pleads guilty to manslaughter after punch turns lethal

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 21, 2017

Tyler M. Finlay pleaded guilty to manslaughter Tuesday for the June 18 death of Jeff Marfice, a 29-year-old man who died after being punched in the face by Finlay in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

Finlay, 21, will be sentenced Jan. 30. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

A trial date was set for Nov. 27 before Finlay’s guilty plea.

According to a police report, Finlay was harassing Marfice’s girlfriend and two other women around 1:45 a.m. near 300 North Fourth Street.

Witnesses said that when Marfice spoke up for the women, he was stuck by Finlay, the blow causing Marfice to hit his head on the sidewalk.

Finlay fled the scene, police said, and Marfice was rushed to Kootenai Health. He was pronounced dead the next day, Father’s Day, leaving behind two daughters, a 6-year-old and an infant.

Marfice, a Lake City High and North Idaho College graduate, golfed for both schools and became an accountant and business owner. His funeral was held at the Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course.

Finlay was a prep football standout at Lakeland High School in Rathdrum, earning the 4A Inland Empire League’s Defensive MVP award in 2013. His criminal history includes DUI and possession of marijuana.

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