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Trial begins in 2019 fatal shooting on Yakima reservation

June 7, 2021 GMT

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A jury trial of a man accused of murdering a Toppenish woman begins Monday in U.S. District Court in Yakima.

Jordan Everett Stevens was charged with first-degree murder in the July 17, 2019, death of Alillia “Lala” Minthorn, 25, the Yakima Herald reported.

Minthorn was missing for nearly a month before her body was discovered in the hills north of Brownstown in a closed area of the Yakama reservation on May 29, 2019. She had been shot in the head.

The trial is in federal court because Minthorn and Stevens are Native American and the murder occurred on tribal land, where the FBI often assumes jurisdiction in violent crimes.

Witnesses showed investigators where Minthorn’s body was placed. A witness said she believed Minthorn was killed for talking to FBI agents about something Stevens and another witness had done, according to a trial brief.

Witnesses said they picked Minthorn up near a Toppenish homeless encampment known as The Compound on West First Avenue. From there, they drove to the closed area of the reservation where Minthorn was shot, one of the witnesses said.