Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 37° Fog
News >  Spokane

Rathdrum man sentenced for lethal punch in Downtown Cd’A

UPDATED: Tue., Jan. 30, 2018

Tyler M. Finlay will serve at least four years in prison for throwing a punch that killed a Coeur d’Alene man last summer.

Before he was sentenced Tuesday, Finlay cried as he apologized to the family of 29-year-old Jeff Marfice’s family in the courtroom.

“I am so sorry,” said Finlay, who was on probation the night he punched Marfice. “I never intended for any of this to happen. Not a second goes by where I don’t think about this and I hope God comforts you.”

“I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I need to express how incredibly sorry I am.”

Finlay, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in November.

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.

“You don’t kill someone intentionally, and you did,” Judge Mitchell said to Finlay during the sentencing. “You intended to do Mr. Marfice harm.”

“You made a series of decisions, while on probation, to go out and drink. You were drunk, you found trouble and didn’t walk away from it. You hit Marfice and ran.”

Marfice, a Lake City High School 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 two DUI arrests and possession of marijuana.

KHQ reporter Adam Mayer contributed to this report

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.