2nd Person Charged with murder in West Valley Triple Homicide
YAKIMA, Wash- A second person now faces murder charges in connection with a triple homicide in West Valley back in February. Tracy Culton was formally charged Wednesday afternoon with three counts of first-degree murder. However investigators don't believe she actually killed Bill, Pauline, and Bettye Goggins.
The 34-year-old was arrested almost two months ago when the Yakima Sheriff's Office says she confessed to burglarizing the Goggin's home. So how does burglary lead to a first-degree murder charge? It can come in two ways, pre-meditated murder or felony murder. Felony murder is when you're committing a felony that results in someone being killed.
"Once you plan a burglary such as this and death results in it, you're subject to that first degree murder charge", says Ken Ramm, deputy prosecutor.
The difference in the felony murder charge is that Culton will not face the possibility of the death penalty. On the other hand, Kevin Harper, the man investigators say actually killed the Goggins, is waiting to hear if prosecutors will ask for capital punishment. That decision has been delayed until November.