Pasco man accused of killing sister to be evaluated

A Pasco man accused of killing his sister is to be evaluated at a state mental hospital.

Aaron Velasco, 28, was expected to enter a plea today in Franklin County Superior Court, but defense attorney Karla Kane requested the Eastern State Hospital review.

Velasco may be developmentally disabled and a competency evaluation is needed, court documents said.

He will be at the hospital for up to 15 days. His arraignment was postponed, pending completion of the evaluation.

Velasco is charged with second-degree murder in the June 9 death of his younger sister, Magdalena Velasco-Garcia, 22.

She was found dead in the driveway of the home next to the house she shared with her family at 2714 Glendive Court.

Velasco is accused of striking his sister with a sharp, possibly metal, object. She died of severe blood loss from sharp force trauma to her head, torso, arms and legs.

He is the one who called 911 and reported he had killed his sister, court documents showed.

He reportedly told police later that he only meant to hurt her because she had been mean to him for the past three years, documents said.

Velasco is being held in the Franklin County jail on $500,000 bail.

Pasco woman's murder trial remains scheduled for Sept. 7

The trial for a Pasco woman who allegedly shot and killed her mother still is on track for Sept. 7 in Franklin County Superior Court.

But Tashia Stuart's defense attorney raised questions Tuesday about why a jail nurse is on the prosecution's witness list.

Matt Rutt said the nurse has been providing medication and care for Stuart, 38, since she has been in the Franklin County jail and expressed concerns about the nurse working with prosecutors.

"I think it's improper for medical authorities to treat my client and provide testimony for the state," Rutt said.

Rutt said he will ask that Stuart be held in the Benton County jail if the nurse remains on the witness list. He also asked for a summary of the nurse's anticipated testimony.

Prosecutor Shawn Sant told Judge Cameron Mitchell that the nurse was added to the list after defense attorneys made claims about Stuart's treatment in jail.

Sant agreed to provide the summary.

Sant also said he still is waiting for official notification from the defense on its self-defense claim. Co-counsel Bob Thompson told Mitchell earlier this month that the defense planned to pursue that at trial.

Stuart was arrested March 3 after her mother, Judy Hebert, was found dead at her west Pasco home.

Hebert, 58, was shot in the chest, reportedly during a fight over $300.

Stuart claims she shot her mother after Hebert came at her with an ax, court documents said.

Stuart is charged with first-degree murder with a firearm enhancement.

Prosecutors also allege aggravating circumstances, which could mean a longer sentence if Stuart is convicted.

Pasco man sentenced for assault on daughter

A Pasco man was sentenced to three months in jail for holding his wife against her will and assaulting his daughter after an argument.

Ulysses Earl Shawn Rambo, 38, faced up to eight months in jail, but Judge Vic VanderSchoor agreed to follow the recommendation in a plea agreement.

Rambo pleaded guilty June 10 to unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree assault. He had been charged in December with two counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Rambo admitted to preventing his wife from leaving and pulling his daughter's hair after they had an argument about his daughter dating a man he didn't know, documents said.

He was arrested Dec. 20 after his 36-year-old wife called police and reported Rambo had hit her on the head and assaulted his daughter, documents said.