The two Benton City teenagers charged with stabbing to death a disabled Benton City man during a robbery late Sunday were nabbed in Oregon while waiting for a Greyhound bus, the Stanfield Police Department said.
Noah Matlack, 18, and Noel Anthony Gonzalez, 19, were waiting for the bus at the Pilot Travel Center about 8:45 p.m. Monday, police said.
Officer Mike Ellwood approached the teens during a routine patrol.
He was not summoned to the business, Stanfield police said.
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Casual conversation turned into a full investigation when “Ellwood’s ‘hunch’ that there was more to this duo than just a couple of guys waiting for the Greyhound bus,” the release said.
Ellwood arrested Matlack for theft, having a concealed weapon and possession of more than an ounce of marijuana.
Gonzalez was arrested for similar crimes using Ellwood’s probable cause, police said.
Information Ellwood received during the investigation led him to contact the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Benton County investigators soon joined Ellwood in the investigation.
“The excellent police work done by Officer Ellwood resulted in two violent suspects being removed from our community,” said Chief Bryon Zumwalt in the release.
The teens are housed in the Umatilla County jail in Pendleton on $1 million bail each awaiting extradition to Kennewick.
Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said Thursday that how soon they are brought to Benton County hinges on whether they waive extradition.
Prosecutors must follow specific statutory guidelines to get suspects back to Washington, Miller said.
The governor of Washington would have to issue a warrant, which would have to be certified by officials in Oregon and sent to the court there.
“If somebody doesn’t want to waive extradition, it could take a month or two to go through the extradition process,” Miller said.
Prosecutors said Michael Edwards, 55, was stabbed with a knife several times about 11:30 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Assembly of God church in Benton City.
His body then was dragged behind a shed on the property, where it was found by a neighbor Monday morning. Edwards’ friends said he was in constant pain from a bone disease and lived alone not far from the church.