Suspect in 2016 Tieton drive-by shooting sentenced to 27 years i - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Suspect in 2016 Tieton drive-by shooting sentenced to 27 years in prison

Posted: Updated:
Victim 20-year-old Trae Oyler Victim 20-year-old Trae Oyler
Suspect Saul Rios Suspect Saul Rios

3-29-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - An unusual case - according to one Yakima County judge - comes to an end.

The judge repeatedly said this was an unusual case because of the amount of family and friends that showed up throughout the entire trial on behalf of Trae Oyler, who lost his life and relayed the same message for the defendant.

"Our hearts are to forgive Saul and that he could come to know the kind of love Trae experienced," said Sherri Bowman, a friend of Oyler. "That's what Trae would of wanted."

That's the same message that all of 20-year-old Oyler's family and friends have for Saul Rios, also known as Jose Cabrera. 

Back in October 2016, he shot and killed Oyler in a Tieton drive-by shooting. After a year and a half of work, the case now comes to an end.

The judge sentenced Rios to 27 years in prison for first degree murder and felony harassment with threats to kill.

Although justice has been served in this case, Oyler's father says today is no victory.

"There is never a victory in that courtroom, because if you go to that courtroom expecting that what happens in there is going to make you feel better, I can almost guarantee that never happens," said Kenneth Oyler, Trae's father. "If you lost a son and you went to that courtroom and thought that whatever they do there is going to fix that, It's not, so there's no victory there today. There's no victory for Saul, there's no victory for me, for our family."

To Oyler's family and friends, the amount of time Rios is sentenced to is irrelevant. 

"The only victory that is going to come is if the people that sit in that courtroom today accept the lord Jesus," said Trae's father.

After the sentencing, Oyler's family and friends went over to the North Town Coffeehouse on Front Street, where Oyler was last seen to enjoy a cup of coffee, which he loved.

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3-9-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - A man accused of murder back in 2016 in Tieton has pleaded guilty to the crime. Saul Rios, also known as Jose Cabrera, had been wanted for Assault with a Deadly Weapon out of California. He had been on the run from there and was in the Yakima area when he shot and killed a 20-year-old man in October 2016.

Rios' sentencing is scheduled for April 17th in Yakima County Superior Court.  

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10/31/16 UPDATE:

TIETON, WA - The Tieton murder suspect is in court again today.

Saul Rios, also known as Jose Cabrera, had been wanted for Assault with a Weapon out of California.

He ran from there and was in the Yakima area when he allegedly shot and killed a 20-year-old man last week.

Now Rios is also facing murder charges.

We looked through court documents and found Rios had been arrested in Yakima just a few months ago for having a loaded gun in his car.

Rios is expected to be in court again in the next couple weeks, for the fugitive and murder charges.

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10/27/16 UPDATE:

TIETON, WA - A young man tragically lost his life last night after a random act of violence that police believe could've been road rage. 

Yakima Sheriff's deputies say a 27-year-old man is now behind bars for the shooting. He was found this morning not far from where it happened, and is now facing murder charges.

Many people in the small town are heartbroken, so reporter Haley Gibbs spoke with some of those who were very close to the man who died.

The incident happened last night on Rosenkranz Road.

"As the suspect vehicle passed the victim vehicle, several rounds were fired into the driver's side of the victim vehicle," said Mike Russell, with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office. "One of those rounds struck a twenty year old man."

That man was Trae Oyler.

"It's heartbreaking," said Jeff Sutton, Executive Director of Great Commandments Ministries. "Trae was loved by his teammates and everyone who knew him."

And though it had been just a couple months since Trae landed in Tieton Washington, it was here that he had already touched the lives of many.

"He's a guy that just kind of seemed like he was eternally optimistic and it was real," Sutton said. "God had so touched his life that it just became an expression of who he was, to encourage and love other people."

It's a struggle for the people so close to him, but they say their shared faith is what will get them through it.

"We're human and so we struggle with why these things happen, but there is an underlying trust in God and a faith that he is sovereign and he is good," Sutton said.

And it seems that that outlook is exactly what Trae would have wanted.

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10/27/16 UPDATE:

TIETON, WA - Yakima County Sheriff’s detectives continue to investigate the murder of Trae Oyler. Investigators have arrested a 27 year old male for the murder. 

The suspect was arrested after fleeing on foot as investigators moved in at about 11:00 a.m. by the Violent Offender Task Force with the assistance of Yakima SO deputies and Tieton Police. The suspect was arrested in the Tieton area not far from where the shooting took place.

Investigators had developed leads in the case that led to the identification of the suspect and then to his capture.  Indications are that the suspect acted alone and no one else was with him at the time of the shooting.  No other suspects in the case are being sought at this time.

The suspect will be booked into the Yakima County jail for murder and other related charges.  The suspect also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest out of California for another violent assault.

An autopsy has been scheduled for tomorrow.

The case remains under investigation by Yakima County Sheriff’s detectives and additional information will be released as it becomes available.

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PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

TIETON, WA - Yakima County Sheriff's Office says, "On October 26, 2016 at about 2135 hours Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 700 block of Rosenkranz Rd regarding a gunshot victim. Upon arrival, a 20-year-old male from Tieton was dead. Initial indications are that the victim died as a result of gunfire.

Witnesses to the shooting stated that the victim and three other companions were traveling west in a vehicle on Rosenkranz Road when another vehicle came up behind the victim vehicle and then passed the victim vehicle while simultaneously firing several rounds into the drivers side of the vehicle striking the victim. The suspect vehicle then fled the area. Witnesses were not clear as to the description of the suspect vehicle.

A motive for the shooting is unclear. 

The deceased is identified as Trae Oyler who had recently moved to the Yakima area from out of state. Mr. Oyler was actively involved in a local Christian youth ministry group and there are no indications that Mr. Oyler has criminal or gang involvements. 

Next of kin have been notified. An autopsy will be scheduled in the coming days.

The case remains under investigation by Yakima County Sheriff’s detectives.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office at 574-2500 or 800-572-0490. Tips including anonymous tips can also be called into Crime Stoppers of Yakima County at 248-9980 or 800-248-9980 or on the internet at yakima.crimestoppersweb.com."

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