A Connell man agreed Tuesday to postpone his trial on charges he set fire to his girlfriend’s car after shooting the woman and her 3-year-old son inside.
Prudencio Juan Fragos-Ramirez, 25, signed a speedy trial waiver in Franklin County Superior Court.
His new trial date is Oct. 14.
Fragos-Ramirez is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors claim he acted with premeditated intent.
Firefighters found the bodies of Maria G. Cruz-Calvillo, 18, and Luis F. Lopez-Cruz on July 2 as they battled the car fire near Scooteney Reservoir near Othello.
Franklin County deputies discovered the plates were registered to an Othello man, who told investigators the vehicle was being driven by his niece, Cruz-Calvillo.
Family members last saw the young mother the afternoon of her death as she was leaving Othello with her son to make a car payment in Pasco, court documents said.
The transaction was completed at a bank at 3:43 p.m. Two of Fragos-Ramirez’s neighbors then saw the mother and son arrive at his home about 4:40 p.m., documents said.
The neighbors recognized the two because they would frequent the house on Hogback Road.
Fragos-Ramirez and Cruz-Calvillo had recently started dating.
Between 10 to 20 minutes after their arrival, the witnesses saw the couple and the toddler walking toward Cruz-Calvillo’s car. Fragos-Ramirez didn’t return to the house and was not seen again until about 7 p.m. that day, court documents said.
Smoke was spotted coming from the ravine where the bodies were found about 20 to 30 minutes after the trio left the house.
Fragos-Ramirez’s home was less than a mile from the ravine. The boyfriend was tracked down hours into the investigation and, after denying any involvement, was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Family members have told the Herald they suspect jealousy may have led to the gruesome slayings.
Both Cruz-Calvillo and Luis had gunshot wounds. The coroner has said it appears Luis still was alive when the car went up in flames.
Fragos-Ramirez is represented by Scott Johnson and Deric Orr, both of Kennewick. Seattle lawyer Michael Iaria no longer is on the case.
Fragos-Ramirez’s bail in the Franklin County jail is set at $2 million for the murder charges, along with $10,100 for the Grant County arrest warrant. He also has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.