Accomplice in stabbing gets year in jail

DNA in hat at gas station matched Yakima County man

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Yakima County man was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for being an accomplice in a 2010 stabbing at a Chevron gas station in Orchards.

Gilberto Martinez, 30, pleaded guilty Friday in Clark County Superior Court to third-degree assault and fourth-degree assault as part of a plea agreement. In exchange, Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein dismissed a first-degree assault charge against Martinez.

Byron K. Chant, 24, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for the stabbing of Jason L. Stricker, 32. Stricker survived the assault.

Police traced DNA evidence collected at the crime scene to Martinez, who was arrested in November in Big Rapids, Mich., and extradited to Clark County.

According to a court affidavit, Stricker fought with a group of people late Oct. 23, 2010, in the parking lot of Chevron, 12100 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd. A Chevron employee who called 911 broke up the fight.

Stricker returned to his truck and was sitting in the passenger seat when somebody stabbed him in the chest.

Investigators collected a sweatshirt and baseball hat from the crime scene for DNA processing. DNA from a cigarette butt found in the sweatshirt matched records for Ashley R. Beckley, who identified the sweatshirt as hers and the hat as belonging to Martinez.

She identified two suspects, Martinez and Chant. Chant, she said, returned to his vehicle after the fight, grabbed the knife and went to Stricker’s vehicle. Later, Beckley said, Chant told her that he had “started stabbing that fool” and that Martinez had had his back, according to the affidavit.

The National DNA Index System matched the DNA in the hat to Martinez.