Crime

Robert McCorkindale charged with murder for death of Preston Yahne

Robert Bruce McCorkindale has been charged with murder in the first degree for the death of Preston Yahne, a 2009 Prosser High School graduate who was stuffed in a car trunk and burned over a drug argument.

Benton County prosecutors announced the charges Friday against McCorkindale, 24, of Grandview. An arraignment is scheduled for July 3.

Investigators say there is not enough evidence at this time to charge McCorkindale's girlfriend, Laura Bancroft, 19, also of Grandview.

McCorkindale told investigators he stabbed and ran over Yahne more than once following a drug dispute on June 14, stuffed him in the trunk of his own car and burned the vehicle the next day, according to arrest documents from both counties.

Yahne’s family reported him missing June 16 and a tow truck operator found the charred body, mostly just bones by then, on June 18. Medical examiners established his identity Tuesday afternoon and still have not announced an official cause of death.

The vehicle and body were found near Emerald and South Emerald roads in a remote location south of Sunnyside, though detectives suspect the killing actually happened in Benton County, said Lt. Chuck Jones of the Benton County Sheriff’s office.

Bancroft was with McCorkindale during the killing and disposal, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Yakima County Superior Court by Yakima County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Russell.

Any decision as to whether Bancroft will be charged with rendering criminal assistance or arson in connection with the burning of the car and body will be made by Yakima County prosecutors, according to a press release. She is in the Yakima County jail on $500,000 bond.

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