After more analysis, 87-year-old Yakima woman will not be charge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

After more analysis, 87-year-old Yakima woman will not be charged with murder

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11-7-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - An 87-year-old woman who confessed to killing her granddaughter on Monday has been released from jail and won't be charged with the killing.

Just one hour before 87-year-old Wanda Lee Roberts was scheduled for her hearing, information was released that the prosecutor handling the case decided to release Wanda without any charges due to self defense.

The shooting happened just after midnight on Monday.

Wanda called 911 and said she had shot her granddaughter, Tiffany Roberts of 34-years-old in their apartment, which is located on the corner of E. F St. and N. 3rd St.

Wanda told the 911 operator that Tiffany was threatening her. 

According to Wanda's attorney during the night of the shooting Tiffany was on drugs, which is one of several factors that lead to the final decision.

"Tiffany had a long history of drug abuse, mental illness, her grandmother had taken her in, but there was conflict between the two of them in the past that wasn't caused by the grandmother," said Rick Smith, Defense Attorney.

On the night of the shooting officers on scene said they had been to the apartment multiple times in the past because of altercations between Tiffany and her grandfather, who did not live there.

Wanda's attorney also said that at one point there was a restraining order between Wanda and Tiffany, which Wanda later had removed.

Smith adds that this type of decision making is not common. He says it's something the prosecutor had to think long and hard about before voicing.


11-7-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - After a formal review of Yakima Police Department reports by the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 87-year-old Wanda Roberts will not be charged with murder.

Documents quoted RCW 9A.16.020 (3) which states that the use of force is lawful "whenever used by a party about to be injured... in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his person... in case the force is not more than is necessary." Documents also stated that "self-defense has three elements: (1) the defendant subjectively feared that she was in imminent danger of bodily harm, (2) her belief was objectively reasonable, and (3) she exercised no more force than reasonably necessary. State v. Werner, 170 Wn.2d 333, 337-338, 241 P.3d 410.

The past relationship between Wanda and Tiffany came into play, as did the deceased's unpredictability at the time, the Yakima Prosecuting Attorney stated in the documents. "In this case, the State of Washington would be unable to prove the absence of self-defense once the Court allows that defense to move forward. The nature of the relationship, living situation and subjective evaluation by the suspect would prevent conviction by a reasonable and objective fact finder."


11-6-18 UPDATE:

YAKIMA, WA - The grandmother and granddaughter involved in the fatal shooting that happened in Yakima have been identified, and more to the story is known.

The Yakima Police Department says officers were dispatched to the 600 block of N. 3rd Street in Yakima to reports of a shooting.

87-year-old Wanda Roberts had called 9-1-1 and stated that she had to shoot her granddaughter, 34-year-old Tiffany Roberts, with her semi-automatic handgun. Wanda told 9-1-1 that Tiffany was threatening her. The 9-1-1 operator asked Wanda to provide aid but she refused and was instructed to step outside after telling the 9-1-1 operator that her gun was now in her bedroom.

YPD officers on scene said they had been to the apartment multiple times before because Tiffany had assaulted her grandfather, and Wanda had gotten a no-contact order against Tiffany.

When officers arrived, Wanda was standing in the apartment doorway and taken into custody, and then transported to Astria Regional Hospital for a medical evaluation. When read her constitutional rights, Wanda said that she didn't understand them.

YPD says officers found Tiffany lying in the home's hallway with a gunshot wound to her neck, and provided aid until medical personnel arrived. She was taken to Astria Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Detective D. Shaw read Wanda her constitutional rights multiple times at the hospital because Wanda would not say she understood them, and after being cleared was taken back to the police department and booked into Yakima County Jail for murder in the second degree.



YAKIMA, WA - A 34-year-old Yakima woman is dead after she was apparently shot by her grandmother early Monday morning.

Yakima Police officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at 12:21 a.m. to an apartment in the 600 block of North 3rd Street. The call came from an 87-year-old woman who told the 9-1-1 call taker she had shot her granddaughter. Officers found the woman’s granddaughter in the apartment suffering from a single gunshot wound.

The gunshot victim was taken to a local hospital, but efforts to save her life failed, and she passed away.

The victim’s grandmother has been charged with second degree murder and is being held in the Yakima County jail.

Yakima Police detectives are investigating the shooting.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Yakima Police Department at (509) 575-6200 or by calling 9-1-1.  Tips can be also be reported to Yakima County Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-248-9980, on the organization’s website at, or through the “P3 Tips” app that can be downloaded for free at