Richland murder trial pushed back one week

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 2, 2014 

A 19-year-old Richland man accused of helping fatally shoot a friend didn't object Thursday to pushing his March trial back one week.

John C.I. Young now is scheduled to face a Benton County Superior Court jury March 10 for one count of first-degree murder.

Prosecutor Andy Miller had requested the delay because he is handling two other murder trials in February.

Young and co-defendant Joshua H. Hunt, also 19, are accused of killing Joshua Snapp on the Fourth of July.

Hunt's trial on the same charge is set for Feb. 10.

Authorities have said Snapp, 17, was shot three times, in the chest and head. The Benton County coroner told the Herald that any of the wounds could have been fatal.

Snapp had been at an all-night party and left in the morning to go with Young and Hunt to smoke marijuana in a remote area near Richland's Beardsley Road, according to court documents.

After firing two warning shots, Hunt took the revolver and shot Snapp in the chest, documents said. Young then allegedly shot the younger teen in the head, and the two suspects left.

Defense attorney John Crowley told Judge Bruce Spanner he wants a hearing to review statements his client made to Richland police and whether they can be used in trial.

However, Crowley said he has no problem with admitting a recorded deposition of Dr. Carl Wigren, who did the autopsy on Snapp.

The Seattle forensic pathologist will be leaving Jan. 25 for almost seven months for a fellowship in New Zealand.

Because Wigren won't be available to testify at Young's trial, Miller has requested doing a videotaped interview with the doctor before he leaves. Miller and Crowley said they will schedule that once Crowley can look at his own calendar.

In a separate murder case Thursday, Judge Vic VanderSchoor ordered a deposition of Wigren on Jan. 16 over a defense objection.

Wigren handled all of the homicide autopsies in Benton County last year, including that of 9-month-old Serenity Jade Reedy.

Like in Young's case, Wigren will be out of the country when suspect Jose Luis Aguilar goes to trial.

Miller made the same request to record Wigren's findings so he could play the interview for jurors.

Attorney Shelley Ajax -- who will be able to ask questions of Wigren as if he is on the witness stand -- was opposed to the motion.

Aguilar, 36, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree rape of a child.

The murder charge includes the aggravating circumstances that the baby was too young to defend herself and that the crime had a destructive impact on additional people.

Aguilar was living with his girlfriend in Richland when he allegedly raped and killed her daughter in the middle of the night.

Serenity was found dead in her crib the morning of June 7. Her skull was fractured and she had a cut and injuries to her vaginal area, court documents said.

Aguilar was on a Greyhound bus in California, near the Mexico border, when police tracked him down and arrested him for the baby's death.

His trial is set for March 31.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service