Graham man sentenced to to more than 26 years for murder of Orting mother of two

TACOMA, Wash. -- A judge on Monday sentenced Jonathan Harris to more than 26 years in prison for the murder of Nicole White -- a Pierce County mother of two who was beaten to death and whose tarp-wrapped body was dumped down a ravine near Graham in June of 2015.

Prosecutors said White, 28, was stomped to death by Harris, then 29, after the two went on a date at a Spanaway bar on June 6, 2015, and then returned to Harris' home, where she was killed.

When she wasn't heard from, White's family reported her missing.  An intensive search for White went on for two weeks before her body was found on June 20 in the woods near Kapowsin in Pierce County.

Police then arrested Harris for the murder, and he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 316 months.

In August of 2016, Harris entered the courtroom without his attorneys, as he had fired his lawyers and was representing himself. He asked Judge Susan Serko for permission to withdraw his guilty plea in the case.

Harris said one of his defense attorneys pressured him into pleading guilty in the murder of White or spend decades behind bars -- something, Harris said, that he took as a threat on his life.

Judge Susan Serko told Harris that he doesn't have any evidence to prove malpractice on the part of his former lawyers, and thus could not withdraw his guilty plea.