KENNEWICK -- A Richland man charged in the July 4 fatal shooting of Joshua Snapp agreed Friday that jurors can hear statements he made to police -- when he was considered a witness and later a suspect.
John C.I. Young, 19, said he understood he could wait for Judge Bruce Spanner to decide if the statements were admissible, but he waived his right to the hearing.
Defense lawyer John Crowley told the judge they have a "strategic interest" in stipulating to all statements made by Young to Richland investigators.
Young's first-degree murder trial starts Monday in Benton County Superior Court.
He's accused of helping kill the 17-year-old Snapp in a remote area of Richland.
Co-defendant Joshua H. Hunt was convicted by a jury in February of second-degree murder and sentenced a month later to a 23-year, four-month prison term.
Crowley, of Seattle, said in court earlier this month that he received an offer from prosecutors for Young to plead to a lesser charge, and he needed to discuss it with his client. However, the lawyer said Friday that he's "ready" to take the case before a jury.
Young, Snapp and Hunt, 19, were partying together early July 4 when they drove out to the desert to smoke marijuana.
Young and Hunt reportedly believed Snapp was a thief and a confidential informant. Snapp died from three gunshots to his head and chest.
The suspects went to a Benton City convenience store later that morning, and Young told a clerk about the shooting and to call 911.
While Hunt was arrested, Young was detained only because investigators believed he witnessed the shooting and wanted to hear what happened.
Detectives drove Young to the shooting scene in an unmarked car, then back to the Richland police station. It wasn't until Hunt told detectives in his own interview about Young's alleged involvement that police read Young his Miranda rights and started treating him like a suspect.
The trial at the Benton County Justice Center in Kennewick could last up to 2 1/2 weeks.