A caretaker for a Benton City vineyard has been convicted of shooting at a couple who had parked their truck on the property to talk.
Jay T. Powers, 31, was convicted this week by a Benton County Superior Court jury.
The guilty verdicts were for two counts of second-degree assault, both with a firearm allegation, and one count of first-degree malicious mischief.
According to law enforcement and prosecutors, Matthew Mahan and Alyssa Aitoro drove onto the Cañon de Sol Winery property on March 15 to discuss “their relationship issues.”
The couple did not have permission to be at 46415 E. Badger Road.
About 8:30 p.m., a car pulled up next to the couple’s truck and Powers got out on the passenger side. The couple noticed that Powers had one hand behind his back at his waistband as he approached their truck and they became fearful, court documents said.
Mahan started to drive away just as Powers fired at the truck, striking the back several times, documents said. No words were exchanged before the shots were fired, and no one was injured.
It had been Powers’ job to watch over the property.
Powers remains in the Benton County jail on $200,000 bail. Sentencing tentatively is scheduled Dec. 16.