Nez Perce County Prosecutors Office
LEWISTON - On February 24, 2020, defendant Cole Marcell entered a GUILTY plea to the charge of First Degree Murder for the killing of Sarah Warden in 2018.
In the very early morning hours of June 1, 2018, Sarah Warden was seen entering the pickup being driven by Marcell at the Walmart parking lot in Clarkston. Amanda Jones and Gabriel Mattingly were also present in the vehicle. From there, Marcell drove the group to Waha and stopped on a secluded roadway. It was in this area that Marcell killed Sarah with the use of a knife and hammer. Marcell then transported her body to the Mud Springs area in Waha where she went undiscovered until over a month later.
This resolution means the Jury Trial previously schedule for June 15 was vacated and the defendant waived any rights to appeal the conviction. As a part of the plea, the State will be able to argue for a sentence of forty years to life in prison while the defense can argue for a shorter sentence.
"This is the first step in the process of bringing some amount of closure to the family and friends of Sarah Warden" noted Nez Perce County Prosecutor Justin Coleman. "With this resolution we have ensured that there will be no appeals while also being able to argue in the range of a reasonable and likely sentence. It was important that Mr. Marcell plead guilty to First Degree Murder as he was the one responsible for Sarah's death" said Coleman.
Previously, Amanda Jones pled guilty to Second Degree Murder and Gabriel Mattingly pled guilty to Accessory to Murder and Failure to Report a Death for their respective roles in the killing. Both have been sentenced and are currently serving prison terms.
"I want to thank the many law enforcement agencies that were involved in this case for their hard work to bring some level of justice to Sarah, especially FBI Agent Trevor Hare, Lt. Eric Blinn with the Sheriff's Office and Prosecution Investigator Nicholas Woods" added Coleman.
Cole Marcell will appear in Court again on May 6, 2020 for a Status Conference at which time it is expected a Sentencing date will be scheduled.