LYNWOOD, Washington — A man who cruelly raped a woman as she was dying from a drug overdose and then joked about it with his friends by text rather than call for help has been sentenced to less than three years in jail.
Brian Varela, 20, received just 2 years and 10 months in the death of 18-year-old Alyssa Noceda in February who overdosed after he gave her a fatal cocktail of drugs.
Superior Court Judge Linda Krese said it was the most time allowed under state guidelines for second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape and unlawful disposal of human remains, for someone with no prior record. She admitted she was “surprised, even outraged,” by the inadequacy of the sentence, having seen auto theft cases with more serious penalties.
“I’m not sure the legislature really contemplated something like this,” Krese said, according to the Daily Herald newspaper in Everett, Washington.
Varela told detectives Noceda came to a party at his mobile home in February and snorted crushed pills in his room and then and then took a dab of concentrated THC. He said she collapsed within a minute of mixing the two.
Varela told cops the pills were Percocet, but tests later showed she’d taken a fatal mix of fentanyl and Xanax. Varela did not call for help. Instead he texted pictures of Noceda’s partly nude body to coworkers, with comments like, “LOL.”
“Bro you killed her,” one friend said.
“But not joking she od bruh,” Varela wrote. He didn’t care, he added, because he was sexually assaulting her “to pass the time.” He never called for help.
Varela then played video games until he fell asleep, and when he woke up the next morning, he told police that Noceda’s lips blue and that she was cold to the touch.
But instead of calling police, he went to work at Dairy Queen. Once he returned home, he stuffed Noceda’s body in a plastic crate where he kept her hidden for days.
At one point, he used Noceda’s thumbprint to get into her iPhone, so he could post on Snapchat suggesting that she ran away. He also washed her body to try to destroy evidence. He told friends he planned to bury her and then flee to Mexico. Eventually, a coworker called police.
When asked if he had anything to say, Varela told the judge: “I’m sorry for my foolish actions. Whatever I get is what I deserve.”
Noceda’s disgusted aunt, Rachelle Palmer, said afterwards: “You might as well let him walk free with that kind of time.”