- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Supreme Court has overturned a prison sentence given to a Nevada man in the cold-case death of an 80-year-old woman.

Arlene Roberts was strangled in 1978. No arrest was made until 2010, when a detective matched fingerprints to Ronald Wayne MacDonald, who was living in Reno.

MacDonald had a history of burglaries, but denied there was any evidence linking him to the killing. During his trial, King County prosecutors agreed to let him walk free if he entered a modified guilty plea to manslaughter.

But at sentencing the detective asked for the maximum five-year term, and the judge agreed. In a 6-3 decision Thursday, the court said the state violated the plea agreement when the detective undermined it.

MacDonald can now withdraw his plea or seek to have its terms enforced at the trial court.



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