WALLA WALLA -- A man accused in the shooting death of a law enforcement informant last June pleaded innocent Monday afternoon to a first-degree murder charge.
Daniel D. Dodd, 43, is set for trial beginning May 14 in Walla Walla County Superior Court.
If convicted as charged, he could be sentenced to more than 36 years in prison.
Dodd is accused of the premeditated killing of Kevin Myrick, who was shot in the face about 10:20 p.m. on June 12 while working on his fiancee's vehicle outside his residence at 1123 S. Third Ave.
Myrick died the following day at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Dodd was charged March 12 and is being held in the Walla Walla County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He had been incarcerated at the jail since June 16 on unrelated matters and had denied having anything to do with Myrick's death.
Myrick was an informant for the Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office who had made a number of controlled drug buys, including one from Dodd's girlfriend, Tina L. Taylor, 42, officials said. She was arrested March 1, 2011, for delivery of hydrocodone and Myrick was a prospective witness against her, according to a police report filed in court.
When Dodd allegedly killed Myrick to eliminate him as a prospective witness, Taylor's trial was set to begin later that month. She ended up pleading guilty in late June and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
During the murder investigation, police learned that Dodd's roommate had lent him a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver about four days before Myrick was killed. Such a gun can fire a .38-caliber slug, like that found at the homicide scene.
Dodd had returned the borrowed gun to the roommate, who then reportedly gave it to another man who threw it into the Snake River under the bridge at Hood Park. After that man showed police the location March 6, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue recovered a revolver matching the suspected murder weapon.
Dodd's criminal record includes felony convictions for possessing stolen property and burglary dating back to 1989. He also pleaded guilty to briefly escaping from a jail work crew van in July and was sentenced last week to five months in the County Jail.
In addition, he has a long history of committing criminal driving offenses that were adjudicated in Walla Walla County District Court.
Terry McConn can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8319.