Robert D. Washburn was sentenced to 27 years in prison after he pled guilty to the 1986 first-degree murder of Jennifer Marie Bastian (13) in Tacoma, Washington.
Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin gave him a 320-month sentence: a month for every year the Bastian family was robbed of their beloved. Washburn must serve a minimum of 20 years before he is eligible for release.
Washburn released a written statement explaining his change in plea was “to spare her family from having to go through a trial.”
However, the statement doesn’t mention anything about the crime such as his motive. Had he seen Jennifer before or was she a random victim?
The statement did say that Washburn “grabbed Bastian by the arm, led her into the woods, then strangled her.” There were signs of sexual assault.
In November 2013, the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab created a DNA profile from semen found on Bastian’s swimsuit. Authorities made a list of suspects to collect DNA as to narrow down the pool of suspects. This pool included Washburn. In 2017, he voluntarily gave a DNA sample when they tracked him down in Illinois. His DNA was a match to the sample from Bastian’s swimsuit. He was arrested in May 2018.
Rest in peace, Jennifer Marie Bastian.