Man could face 33 years in prison for crash that killed girlfriend

TACOMA  -  A man who  killed his girlfriend in a fiery crash east of Tacoma could be facing up to 33 years in prison.

In a bench trial, a judge found Anthony Hem, 24, guilty of 2nd-degree murder and 1st-degree robbery.

Hem will be sentenced October 7th and the standard range is 24 to 33 years.

The deadly crash happened in May of last year.  Hem’s girlfriend, Marisa Richie, 26, died when Hem tried to get away from police in a stolen pickup, and crashed into a utility pole near East 64th and Waller Road.

He previously entered guilty pleas to vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, second-degree assault and trying to elude police.

Hem chose a bench trial over a jury trial on the robbery and murder charges, in which the judge, and  not a jury, decides the verdict based on the evidence.

Prosecutors said Hem, Ritchie and Pierre Jennings, 21,  stole a pickup from a Lakewood apartment complex after they attacked the owner.

When police spotted them, they sped off in the truck.

The pursuit ended when Hem lost control and crashed into a utility pole.

A judge sentenced Jennings to 14 years after he entered a guilty plea.

During the trial, Hem testified that Jennings assaulted the truck owner.