Benton Co. Triple Murder Trial Begins With Emotional Mother of Killed Man

KENNEWICK, WA. -- A man accused of a triple murder South of Kennewick last year, goes before a judge. The prosecutor has to prove that man pulled the trigger, or at least was aware of the plan to kill the three and actively participated in the plot.

24-year-old Francisco Resendez-Miranda of Umatilla is accused of murdering three people. But the question is if there is enough evidence to convict in a Benton County Courtroom.

Our viewers may remember when a farm worker found the three bodies shot to death last August in a field South of Kennewick. 

They were David Perez-Saucedo, Victoria Torres, and Abigail Torres-Renteria. The coroner determined Torres-Renteria was 9-months pregnant when she was killed. 

The prosecutor believes more people were involved in the killing, but no one else has been arrested since the people they want to question are believed to have run to Mexico. In opening statements, the prosecutor said there's enough to convict Resendez Miranda, while the defense thinks the case is just circumstantial and not enough to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

"The evidence says the defendant is guilty of aggravated murder in the first degree for the death of Abigail Torres," Prosecutor Andy Miller said. "And the defendant is guilty of aggravated murder in the first degree for the murder of Victoria. And that members of the jury, will be the just verdict that you will reach."

"You will find, after hearing several witnesses' testimony, you can't determine beyond a reasonable doubt who did this," Defense Attorney Shane Silverthorn.  "You can't determine beyond a reasonable doubt that Francisco Miranda was the person behind this crime."

After opening statements, the trial began. The first witness the prosecution called was, Theodora Saucedo, the mother of David Perez-Saucedo. As soon as she took the stand she had trouble speaking about what happened to her son. 

"It's very difficult to be here," Saucedo said through an interpreter. 

The prosecutor simply asked her to identify events that happened before the shooting. He didn't ask her to talk about her son, so she was able to make it through the testimony.

The trial is expected to last several weeks. As it goes on, we'll continue to keep you updated on the major developments.


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