After guilty plea to January murder, here’s how long Cody Brock will spend in prison

Bellingham murder suspect makes first appearance in court

Cody Mitchell Brock, accused of first-degree murder in the January 31 death of Dustin M. Wilson, makes his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Feb. 6, 2019.
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Cody Mitchell Brock, accused of first-degree murder in the January 31 death of Dustin M. Wilson, makes his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Feb. 6, 2019.

A Whatcom County man who shot and killed a 32-year-old man and injured a woman in late January outside a house on Old Marine Drive near Bellingham was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday, June 26, in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Cody Mitchell Brock, 31, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and third-degree assault. Brock was originally charged with aggravated first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, first-degree burglary and three counts of violating a protection order.

In addition to the 35 years in prison, Brock also received three years probation and has to pay $6,170 in restitution to the injured woman. The prison time was an agreed recommendation put forth by the prosecution and defense as part of a plea deal. Brock, who appeared in a black-and-white-striped jail uniform, is considered an ultra-high risk prisoner when he’s being moved.

Brock shot Dustin M. Wilson in the back and head four times, killing him, early Jan. 31 in the 1100 block of Old Marine Drive. A woman with Wilson at the time of the shooting also suffered a single gunshot wound to her stomach and was taken to St. Joseph hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

One of the women who was present during the shooting detailed abuse she suffered at the hands of Brock, and told the court she lives in fear he’ll hurt her again. She said she’ll always remember Wilson’s death and the smell of gunpowder in the air. She said Wilson had an amazing heart and would put a smile on everyone’s face.

“The death of (Wilson) is like losing your breath and never catching it again. It’s a forever panic attack as your soul is screaming for them. It’s feeling your heart dying as you continue to lose your mind,” the woman said.

The Bellingham Herald does not identify victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.

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Cody Mitchell Brock is wanted by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for the shooting death of a 32-year-old man early Jan. 31 near Bellingham. Whatcom County Sheriff's Office Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Brock said in court Wednesday that he and Wilson were friends since they were 9 years old and that they remained friends. He got angry with Wilson, but that murdering him was wrong and he should have handled the situation differently, Brock said while holding back tears. Brock said he pleaded guilty because he was taking responsibility for his actions and hopes one day he’ll be forgiven.

“I can’t give a good enough reason for why I did what I did. It’s a terrible tragedy that happened; it’s a horrendous act on my part. I wish things could be different; I wish that he could be back. It’s the biggest mistake I made in my life,” Brock said. “I’m so sorry for what I did.”

Wilson was found by Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies laying on the front entry to the house, according to court records.

Security video footage from outside the house showed a person, later identified as Brock, arrive around 1:30 a.m. and hide behind bushes just out of view of the camera, the records state.

Shortly after 1:40 a.m., a vehicle arrived, and Wilson and two women got out of the car and walked up to the front door. As the three walked out of view of the cameras, Brock emerged from the bushes.

A second camera showed Brock run up behind Wilson and the women with a silver revolver in his right hand, court records state. Footage showed a recoil, as if the gun had been fired, and Brock was seen running away from the house moments later.

A witness who was in the house told deputies the shooter, who he did not recognize, stood over and fired the gun at Wilson’s body.

Deputies later learned there had been a months-long dispute between Brock and Wilson over intimate and personal relationships each had with a woman, who was present at the shooting, and several people said they heard Brock threaten to kill Wilson, court records show. A protection order and a domestic-violence protection order were in place in two separate cases between Brock and the woman at the time of the shooting, court records say.

Brock was later found and arrested in Kent at a hotel Feb. 6. Brock has been held without bail in the Whatcom County Jail since his February arrest.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.