Court rejects murder appeal

Johnathan Harris was convicted in 2016 for murdering local Nicole White. His attempt to appeal his guilty plea failed.

Jonathan Harris will remain behind bars for the 2015 murder of former Enumclaw resident Nicole White.

Last week, his effort to overturn a lengthy prison sentence was rejected by the Court of Appeals.

As part of an agreement in July 2016, Harris, 32, had pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree. He was then sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Harris appealed, arguing that his guilty plea was not “voluntary and intelligent” because he wasn’t aware of all the evidence against him.

Deputy Prosecutor Robin Sand argued to the Court of Appeals that Harris voluntarily pleaded guilty and knew the evidence against him was strong.

The Court of Appeals agreed and noted that Harris had previously waived his right to appeal his sentence. The Court found that Harris failed to meet the standard to merit withdrawal of his plea and affirmed Harris’ convictions and the prison sentence.

The tale that ended in White’s murder started on June 6, 2015, when White picked Harris up from his home and they drove to Jeepers Country Bar and Grill in Spanaway. Several hours later, witnesses saw the two leave the bar together in White’s car. White never made it home and was reported missing on the following day.

During the next two weeks, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, and volunteers conducted an extensive search. On June 20, a K-9 from a volunteer search-and-rescue team found White’s body at the bottom of wooded ravine south of Lake Kapowsin.

Detectives believe that after she and Harris left the bar, they drove back to Harris’ house. Harris admitted to severely beating White, causing her death. He wrapped White in a tarp, loaded her into her car, drove to the wooded area and rolled her down the ravine. Then, he drove her car off the side of the road near his house and walked home.

The next day, according to cell phone records and data stored on the ignition interlock device in his vehicle, Harris drove his car back to the site where he dumped White’s body.

During a search of Harris’ home, detectives located the sweatshirt he was wearing at the bar the night White disappeared. DNA from blood on the sweatshirt was a match to White.

More in News

Black Diamond’s Rock Creek Bridge to gets pedestrian walkway

The walkway will make it safer for people to walk along Roberts Drive. But some have criticized how the project hasn’t gone through a SEPA review.

Councilwoman Lauk resigns seat

Kimberly Lauk thanked the council and mayor for their work since she joined on in 2016, and urged residents to continue to participate in their local government.

Architectural rendering of a modular congregate shelter. Modular housing is a type of dwelling where the components are manufactured in one location, then assembled at another location. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov.
Modular housing in King County moves ahead

Small, portable housing units are being explored by the county to address homelessness.

Gov. Jay Inslee shakes hands with Dinah Griffey after signing Senate Bill 5649 on April 19. The law revises the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Hits and misses from Legislature’s 2019 session

New laws target vaccines, sex crimes and daylight savings; losers include sex ed and dwarf tossing bills.

Educational signs installed at Lake Sawyer

The Lake Sawyer Park Foundation hopes the new signs will encourage people to be more environmentally conscious around the park.

Carnegie Hall appearance for White River band

The band was encouraged to apply for to play at the famed venue three years ago.

Enumclaw Schools Foundation hosts lunch, sets two more fundraisers

Make sure not to miss the May 4 event, the annual Food Truck Wars, at the Expo Center.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to protesting nurses on April 24 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia. Inslee indicated he would sign the bill for meal and rest breaks into law if it passes both chambers. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Lawmakers approve ‘nursing bill’ for mandatory meal and rest breaks

Nurses show up in Olympia to support bill, protest Sen. Walsh’s remarks.

Scott Barden stands next to the pit that will house the newest, and possibly final, section of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Maple Valley. The pit is 120 feet deep, and around another 180 feet will be built on top of it over the next decade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
King County’s landfill is going to get bigger

A ninth cell will be built, extending its life by another decade.

Most Read