Walla Walla man arrested in June homicide

Police reports indicate Kevin Myrick was killed because he was a potential witness in drug cases.



Daniel Dodd leaves the courtroom after his first appearance in court for the murder of Kevin A. Myrick on June 12, 2011.

WALLA WALLA - Nine months after a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in his driveway while working on his car, police have released a possible motive and arrested a suspect in the homicide investigation of Kevin Myrick.

After a lengthy probe that included reviewing cellphone records, monitoring jail phone calls, tracking down a possible weapon and then recovering that weapon from the Snake River on Tuesday, police arrested Daniel D. Dodd, 43, of Walla Walla on investigation of first-degree aggravated murder.

Police said Myrick was a cooperating witness associated with the county Sheriff's Office who had made a number of controlled drug buys and was a potential witness in drug cases.

Dodd has been incarcerated at the County Jail since June 16 when he was arrested on unrelated warrants. He also pleaded guilty Thursday morning to escaping briefly from a jail work crew van July 12.

His name was mentioned as a possible suspect in the Myrick homicide early in the investigation, but he denied any knowledge of the crime, according to police.

At his first Superior Court appearance this morning regarding the murder arrest, Judge John Lohrmann set bail at $1 million.

Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle said in an interview he didn't expect to file a formal charge until next week. He said he didn't know if it would include an allegation of an aggravating factor, which on conviction would result in a sentence of life in prison or the death penalty if the prosecution seeks it.

Myrick was shot in the face outside his residence at 1123 S. Third Ave. about 10:20 p.m. June 12. When police arrived he could make only grunting noises. Two witnesses reportedly saw a male leaving the area, but could not identify him.

Myrick was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was pronounced dead the following day.

A medical examiner's report concluded he died as a result of a gunshot wound to the face, according to a police report presented in court today.

The report says Myrick, in cooperation with the Sheriff's Office, had bought drugs from Tina L. Taylor, 42, and was a potential witness in a court case accusing her of delivering hydrocodone.

Taylor was Dodd's girlfriend and she had a tattoo that displayed "Danny's Girl."

Police believe Dodd killed Myrick to eliminate him as a possible witness in Taylor's upcoming trial.

About four days before the shooting, a roommate of Dodd - unidentified in the police report - loaned him a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, which had black rubber grips.

While Dodd never told the roommate he shot Myrick, he did say the gun had been used and he encouraged disposal of the weapon.

At that time, another unidentified person had been given the revolver and reportedly threw it into the Snake River Bridge near Burbank.

On Monday, that man showed police where he had thrown the revolver, and on Tuesday evening it was recovered by Columbia Basin Dive & Rescue, the police report says.

A team of three divers spent an hour searching a roughly 40 square-foot area underneath the bridge and recovered a revolver matching the suspected murder weapon.


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