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News / Clark County News

Vancouver man arraigned in Brush Prairie murder case

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: July 11, 2018, 3:51pm

A man charged in connection with a fatal shooting in Brush Prairie, in what Washington State Patrol troopers have called a drug deal gone wrong, was arraigned Wednesday.

Raul Flores, 44, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Clark County Superior Court.

Flores said nothing beyond confirming for Judge Robert Lewis that he read and understood the charge he’s facing.

Troopers were dispatched to what was reported as a fatal crash about 1:45 a.m. June 9 on state Highway 503 near Northeast 119th Street.

A witness told troopers a Toyota Corolla driven by 29-year-old Ariel Romano appeared to be street racing another car on the highway when it lost control, left the road, drove across Prairie High School’s entrance and struck a tree.

Romano’s death was initially reported as a fatal hit-and-run crash, but troopers clarified June 12 that he had likely died from a gunshot wound.

Flores is the only suspect to be charged in connection with the death.

Investigators have interviewed another suspect — 36-year-old Jonathan “Jon Jon” Oson — and a person of interest, Justin Schell, 44. The three men allegedly met with Romano at a WinCo Foods on Northeast 119th Street, where some kind of altercation occurred that ended in the fatal shooting, court records say.

Flores has a trial readiness hearing Sept. 10.

Columbian Breaking News Reporter