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Inmates charged in murder of Valley sex offender

Two inmates have been charged with first-degree murder for the November beating death of former Snoqualmie resident and fellow prisoner Kevin James Achartz.

Achartz, 40, had been serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla for videotaping himself having sex with a drugged 17-year-old boy. He was convicted in 2005 of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Last week, Walla Walla County prosecutors charged Michael E. Elmore, 22, and Victor W. Doty, 26, with first-degree murder for Achartz's death. The two were scheduled for an initial appearance Jan. 8. According to Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney James Nagel, the two men somehow entered Achartz's cell Nov. 19 and beat him for nearly an hour while the cells were locked until they were unlocked for lunch. Achartz died four days later at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland. Officials had no motive for the attack. Nagel said he is still awaiting details of the full report.

Achartz, also a convicted second-degree rapist, had an extensive criminal history, which included felony convictions for assault in the third degree in 2002, theft in the second degree in 2002 and 1988, failure to register as a sex offender in 1998, burglary in the second degree in 1998, attempt to elude in 1990, robbery in the second degree in 1988, misdemeanor convictions for harassment in 2001 and 1997, assault in 1985 and numerous driving offenses.

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