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Man accused of killing girlfriend chooses trial over plea deal

Michelle Theriault Boots
Bob Hallinen

An Anchorage man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in their Spenard apartment chose on Wednesday to go forward with his trial for first-degree murder rather than accept a deal that would have required him to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Prosecutors say James Marquez shot his 47-year-old girlfriend, Carla Webb, after an argument April 9 in their apartment at 3032 W. 42nd Ave., and then called police himself.

Webb later died at the hospital, according to a charging document.

According to her obituary, Webb had worked at Red Dog Mine for nine years and was involved in Habitat for Humanity.

At the time of his arraignment, Marquez told a judge he was an out-of-work information technology professional.

Under terms of the deal offered by prosecutors, Marquez would have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for dismissal of the first-degree murder charge.

Marquez rejected the deal in a change-of-plea hearing in Anchorage Superior Court.

If he had accepted the state's offer, he could have faced a sentence in the range of 50 to 75 years, prosecutor Sharon Marshall wrote in an email Wednesday.

That would essentially be a life sentence for the 35-year-old.

His trial is scheduled for March 11, 2013.