Thursday, December 9, 2021
Dec. 9, 2021

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New charges filed in White Swan killings

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YAKIMA — For the first time, murder charges have been specifically described in a federal indictment against two men accused in the June 8, 2019, shooting deaths of five people outside White Swan.

The Yakima Herald reports a new indictment against James Dean Cloud and Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Yakima.

The new indictment increased the number of charges from eight to 19. It levels charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing a firearm with intent to commit bodily injury against both men.

They are accused of killing Dennis Overacker, John Cagle, Michelle Starnes, Catherine Eneas, and Thomas Hernandez, in a shooting rampage just west of White Swan on the Yakama reservation.

Lindell LaFollette and Esmerelda Zaragoza were also shot but survived.

Authorities called it the most violent multiple homicide the county has seen in recent history.

James Dean Cloud is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, carjacking, kidnapping, brandishing a dangerous weapon in furtherance of a crime and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud faces two counts of first-degree murder, carjacking, kidnapping, brandishing a dangerous weapon in furtherance of a crime and assault with a dangerous weapon.

This is the third superseding indictment filed in the case.

At first, the Clouds were charged with carjacking, assault and brandishing a firearm. Eight months later, James Cloud was charged with murder, at which time federal authorities said additional evidence resulting in more charges would be entered.

Tuesday’s indictment accuses both Clouds of shooting and killing Overacker and Hernandez. The indictment also accuses James Cloud of shooting and killing Cagle, Starns and Eneas and accuses Donovan Cloud of shooting and injuring Zaragoza and LaFollette.

They’re scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on Nov. 23. A message sent to Cloud’s federal public defender seeking comment was not immediately returned.

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