Trial set for man tied to shooting suspect

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WALLA WALLA -- A man who was caught allegedly giving a homicide suspect from Umatilla County a ride on Jan. 1 has pleaded innocent to two criminal charges in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Jason T. Stiller, 41, of 85205 Highway 339, Milton-Freewater, entered the not-guilty pleas Tuesday afternoon to first-degree rendering criminal assistance, which is a felony, and driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a gross misdemeanor.

His trial is scheduled for March 5 and 6. Based on tips to law enforcement, Stiller's pickup was pulled over New Year's afternoon at the PDQ Food Mart, 506 S. Ninth Ave., in Walla Walla. Stiller was driving while intoxicated and George W. Craigen was in the passenger seat, officials said.

Stiller was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail, with bail later set at $25,000.

Craigen, 49, of 52848 Stephens Road, Milton-Freewater, is suspected of gunning down his neighbor, Cecil "Rob" Carter, on Dec. 30 at Carter's plumbing contractor business next to his home.

Carter, 58, was pronounced dead a short time later at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

The homicide sparked a massive search of nearby hills for Craigen, but he eluded capture until he was pulled over in Stiller's vehicle.

Craigen is being held in the Walla Walla County Jail on bench warrants from Umatilla County alleging he failed to appear at a pretrial conference hearing on a number of pending criminal matters in that jurisdiction, in addition to a fugitive warrant.

Extradition is pending.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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