Gavel photo courtesy of www.weisspaarz.com via Flickr

A man who pleaded guilty to his role in the home invasion killing of a Carlsbad resident who was stabbed nearly 150 times was sentenced Friday to almost three decades in prison.

Ian Forrester Bushee, 40, was arrested along with co-defendant Malissa James for the March 11, 2019, stabbing death of 63-year-old Marjorie Gawitt.

The defendants, both of whom officials identified as transients, broke into Gawitt’s home at around 12:30 a.m., police said.

Preliminary hearing testimony indicated Gawitt was stabbed or slashed 142 times, with prosecutors alleging James was the one who committed the stabbing.

Gawitt, who called 911 to report that she had been attacked at her home on Outrigger Lane, died at a hospital shortly after arrival.

Shortly before noon that day, the defendants were arrested near Agua Hedionda Lagoon in an open, brushy area off the 4800 block of Park Drive, less than a mile from the victim’s home.

James, 30, previously faced the death penalty, but pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced earlier this year to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bushee was set to go to trial this year prior to his pleas to voluntary manslaughter and residential burglary counts. He was sentenced Friday to 29 years and eight months in prison.

–City News Service



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Ellen Bullock