Noel Gonzales, 19, will go on trial in February for the murder of a disabled man in Benton City.
KENNEWICK WA.- Two teenagers accused of robbing and murdering a disabled man will go on trial early next year.
In simultaneous hearings in separate courtrooms, Benton County judges Thursday scheduled trials in January and February for Noel Gonzales, 19, and Noah Matlack, 18.
Police arrested the two teenagers in Stanfield, Oregon last September, hours after Benton County sheriff's deputies discovered the body of Michael Edwards behind a dumpster in a church parking lot in Benton City.
Deputies say Edwards, who suffered from severe arthritis, had been stabbed several times. Edward's brother says Edwards had a medical marijuana card and used marijuana to ease his pain.
The teenagers remain in county jail with bail set at one million dollars each.
Benton County sheriff's deputies arrested a third teenager, Tyler Lynn Isom, 19, who deputies say let Matlack and Gonzales stay at his home after the killing and kept a stolen semi-automatic pistol. He's charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Court documents show after his arrest, Matlack told detectives Edwards owed him $2,500 and, according to detectives, Matlack planned to kill Edwards if he didn't pay him back.
Stanfield police arrested Matlack and Gonzales at a truck stop. Officers say the teenagers were trying to sell some rare coins, which police say belonged to Edwards.
According to court documents, when police asked, "Did someone die over this?" Matlack began crying and demanded an attorney.
Gonzales returned to Benton County willingly, but it took a court order to extradite Matlack.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 2:36 AM EDT2014-03-11 06:36:47 GMT
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