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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Vodder resentenced to 18 years in prison for 2015 murder of Bret Snow

Colby Vodder is led to court Oct. 23, 2018, in Spokane  (JESSE TINSLEY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The man who helped kill and dismember 32-year-old Bret Snow in 2015 near Newman Lake will serve 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Raymond Clary handed down the sentence to Colby D. Vodder, now 32, on June 21, according to court documents. Vodder had already been tried twice and was scheduled for a third murder trial at one point before entering the guilty plea.

Vodder was first tried in 2018 when the jury found him not guilty of a kidnapping conspiracy. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on two murder charges.

He was retried and found guilty in 2019 of first-degree murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Vodder sought review of his judgment and sentencing by the Washington state Court of Appeals in August 2019, according to court documents.

In documents filed in June 2021, the state Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court “erred by allowing the lead detective to testify that he believed Vodder was guilty. Because this error is of constitutional magnitude and is not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, we reverse and remand for retrial.”

The killing happened in a workshop building outside Newman Lake, but Snow’s body and the murder weapon were never found. Authorities believe the slaying was drug-related, and that Snow may have been beaten to death and dismembered to hide evidence of the killing.

Vodder’s co-defendants, Alvaro Guajardo, Cheryl Sutton and Kenneth Stone, were all sentenced to prison in connection to Snow’s death.

The standard sentencing range for Vodder was about 11 to 20 years, court records said. He will serve three years of community custody, or probation, when he is released from prison.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (509) 459-5135 or by email at