- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho man who helped cover up the killing of a Washington state woman and remained silent for years has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

David Stone of Moscow received the sentence Wednesday in 2nd District Court and must serve three years before becoming eligible for parole. He was credited with the 18 months he’s already been in jail.

Stone, 51, agreed to a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to failure to notify authorities of a death in exchange for testifying against 53-year-old Charles Capone.

“There has been a substantial benefit for Mr. Stone for finally doing the right thing in front of the court,” Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson said. “There could have been prompt reporting to authorities. He could have made a different decision with substantially different results.”

Stone testified in September that he witnessed Capone strangle 40-year-old Rachael Anderson from Clarkston, Washington, in April 2010 and then helped dispose of the body by dumping it in the Snake River. Her body hasn’t been found.

A jury convicted Capone of first-degree murder, and he faces up to life in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Jan. 5.

“I want to apologize to Rachael’s family for this unnecessary and horrific event,” Stone said while crying. “To say I could imagine how you must feel would be wrong. I’m genuinely and sincerely sorry. It’s a day I think about every day and will for the rest of my life.”

Stone has said he feared Capone and for the safety of his family, and that’s why he remained silent. Judge Jeff Brudie said he didn’t know how plausible a reason that was for Stone to remain silent for three years.

“You had a series of opportunities over time to disclose what you knew,” Brudie told Stone.

Amber Griswold, Anderson’s oldest daughter, said she hoped she would have reacted differently than Stone.

“I understand fear is a big motive,” she said. “I do believe David Stone was put in a really hard position, where he had to make a decision.” But she said his decision to remain quiet caused suffering and pain in her family.

Thompson and Brudie said it was unlikely Stone would again break the law.

“I don’t look at you as a threat to society,” Brudie said. “But along with that, I have to look at the conduct that brought you here. I think you struggled with your conduct for years and will continue to do so.”

Brudie said Stone, for his protection, will be kept away from Capone while he serves his time in prison.

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