Letter - Decision not to prosecute isn’t justice


The prosecutor’s decision published in the March 14 U-B stating no charges would be filed in the pedestrian death leaves some unanswered questions.

How is it possible to see a 7- to 8-inch hand waving supposedly indicating for Mr. Matheny to make his left turn but not see Mr. Rios who was about 5-foot-7 inches tall? The same sun that supposedly blinded Mr. Matheny allowed him to see a hand and not a person.

I have been at that intersection several times at approximately the same time and even in my motorhome you have a clear view of the entire intersection.

If someone traveling west on Poplar Street stops to allow one to make a left turn, the normal thing to wonder is “Why is he stopping?”

Even if it is as Mr. Matheny says, he thought the other driver was waving him on, the wave would be north to south, not south to north as he would be for the pedestrian.

Where could Mr. Matheny have been going in such a hurry on a Sunday morning that he did not see or know he struck a pedestrian and still drag him some 20 to 30 feet? The only reason he stopped was because he was being told by other people in the area.

You can tell when you hit a bird or a four-legged animal, even at night. But to not even know you have struck a human being, something is very wrong. The sun was in my eyes and my truck was too tall are very lame excuses.

I suppose we can thank Det. Knudson for his opinion. It would be interesting to know how much time was spent on the investigation.

Those in the Hispanic community are in shock and disbelief. Some have said, “This makes two.”

As for me I only hope Mr. Nagel and Mrs. Clinton are not on the same page: “At this point. what difference does it make?”

Only Mr. Matheny will really know why it happened. The rest of us know that a father, a brother, an uncle, a grandfather and a friend is gone forever.

No charges. Wow. What happened to vehicular homicide, reckless driving, even careless driving?

Oh, there is a charge. “Slap him on the hand and say, don’t do that again!”

Was justice served? Absolutely not!

Frank Herrera

Walla Walla


chicoli 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Walla Walla might be creating a case for "prosecutorial laziness and indifference", not a good reputation at this time in its history. As Mr. Herrera is hinting at the possibility of justice indifference towards members of the Hispanic community, some comments of reassurance to the contrary by the Prosecuting Attorney's office is in order.

I personally believe that this is hopefully not the case, the case of prosecutorial indifference, indeed. As we say in Puerto Rico "I decidedly don't believe in the Devil, but I will lit a candle...just in case".

Carlos F Acevedo MD


dogman12 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I too was disappointed, but not surprised, by the decision not to prosecute in this case. (New York Store 2?) While it is difficult to separate out cause and correlation in social dynamics like prosecution and incarceration, it seems to me that bias against latinos in the justice system is a fact. Are latinos charged and jailed proportionally more often than anglos? If so, how much of that is due to the marginal economic position most are allowed by the dominant culture? How much is profiling on the street, and how much is bias in prosecution and the courts? It is a huge job to dig for local statistics to help answer such questions, although I am sure that people will have an opinion even without them. (As I do, of course.) Denial is a common feature of a racist's mindset.

If enough latinos care enough about this issue, organizing behind a qualified candidate for prosecutor seems to be to be the only long term solution. Trying to change the prosecutor's M.O. by trying to change public opinion strikes me as hopeless. Organize and win power. Otherwise, cry in your beer.


chicoli 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Herrera, did you read what dogman12 is suggesting? Let's do something meaningful sooner rather than later!!

Under such circumstances as presented by dogman12, the taste of beer is rather bitter!


dogman12 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I can support you, but I can't lead on this.


chicoli 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks! Mr. Herrera should lead on this one!


namvet60 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe one should take into more than just a couple of scenarios to come to a lopsided conclusion? People create there own lifestyles and without going through the court proceedings to find out why the outcome was such one misleads many.

Mr Herrera has his opinion and I appreciate that. But that doesn't mean that I have to take that as the gospel.


Bigdog 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I am amazed you are turning this into a race issue. I see it more as a breakdown in the judicial system and in society. Simply put, neither; any longer place any value on human life. Criminals in general, are coddled and seldom receive any punishment - especially in Walla Walla.

There was an elderly woman ran over and killed at Wal-Mart. the name of the perpetrator was kept a secret, and no charges were ever filed. There have also been 5-6 people mowed over and killed in Tri-Cities this past year – no charges filed in any of those cases. Often times it is hit and run. It is amazing to me that drivers are not being held liable for their actions in what I perceive as a deadly weapon (motor vehicle), when used incorrectly. Do not expect this problem to get any better once the marijuana laws come into full effect.


oldguyonabike 7 months, 1 week ago

Let's not forget Ann Weatherill and Sally Eustis who were killed on local roads while trying to enjoy the beauty of our valley on a bike.


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