Trial dates set for 2 teens charged with killing disabled Benton City man

Tri-City HeraldNovember 7, 2013 

— The two Benton City teen accused of stabbing to death a disabled man two months ago waived their rights to a speedy trial Thursday.

Noah M. Matlack, 18, will face trial Jan. 21 for the Sept. 8 stabbing death of Michael Edwards.

Noel Anthony Gonzalez, 19, will go to trial Feb. 24.

Both teen pleaded innocent to first-degree murder. They appeared in Benton Superior Court on Thursday morning.

Matlack and Gonzalez are accused of killing Edwards, 55, in the parking lot of the Assembly of God church in Benton City.

Edwards was stabbed with a knife several times about 11:30 p.m. Sept. 8. His body was found by a neighbor about eight hours later after it was dragged behind a shed.

The Benton City teens reportedly were trying to flee the Northwest, possibly to California, when a Stanfield police officer approached them after learning they were trying to sell some rare coins at the truck stop.

Edwards’ home reportedly was ransacked after his death, and his safe was pried open with knives. Items taken included coins and a gun.

Matlack and Gonzalez each have bail set at $1 million.

A third Benton City teen, Tyler Lynn Isom, is accused of letting the teens stay at his house after the fatal stabbing, arranging a ride for them to Oregon and keeping a stolen .22-caliber Luger semi-automatic pistol and other property.

Edwards was crippled by degenerative arthritis of the spine, and reportedly used medical marijuana.

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