Bail set for associates of murder suspect

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WALLA WALLA — Bail has been increased for a man accused of assisting murder suspect Carlos Valdez following the homicide of Yesica Olivos.

Andres Torres-Rodriguez was taken into custody with Valdez at a Spokane motel Jan. 7, as was Valdez’s girlfriend, Breanne “Breezy” Rutherford.

Torres-Rodriguez’s bail initially was set at $150,000, but was increased to $250,000 at a Walla Walla County Superior Court hearing Monday.

Torres-Rodriguez, 23, of 120 Natches St., Walla Walla, and Rutherford, 21, of 124 Sheridan Road, each face a charge of first-degree rendering criminal assistance to Valdez after the murder took place.

Rutherford allegedly drove him from the scene of the killing. Torres-Rodriguez is accused of disposing of the murder weapon later.

They were transported to the Walla Walla County Jail on Thursday.

Bail remained at $150,000 apiece Friday when they had their first court appearances.

On Monday, Torres-Rodriguez’s court-appointed attorney, Jerry Makus, asked Judge Scott Wolfram to release his client pending the outcome of his case.

But Wolfram ended up increasing bail at the urging of Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle.

Nagle pointed out Torres-Rodriguez’s criminal history, which includes burglaries and thefts, said he has no visible means of support, there is some allegation the defendants were using methamphetamine during the time frame of the murder and they fled to Spokane, where they were apprehended.

In addition, Nagle said, officials found a pistol in the motel room there and, at some location, located a rifle in a vehicle related to the investigation.

Nagle didn’t know if either gun was the murder weapon. But Torres-Rodriguez might face an additional charge of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because of his criminal background, Nagle said.

Torres-Rodriguez and Rutherford will enter pleas later.

If convicted as currently charged and based on their criminal histories, Torres-Rodriguez faces a standard-range prison sentence of 15-20 months; Rutherford’s standard range would be a year to 14 months.

Comments

Mochadelicious 1 year, 7 months ago

Less than 2 years in prison if convicted? Are you kidding? Torres-Rodriguez and Rutherfords hands are just as dirty as Valdez's. How is it people convicted of less severe crimes get longer sentences? This is just a slap on the hand which sends the message: you can get away with murder...literally.

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