Following the discovery about two weeks ago of the 9 mm handgun allegedly used in a triple-murder in Salkum last August, one of the case's defendants is now scheduled to go to trial Oct. 10 in Lewis County Superior Court.
Ryan J. McCarthy, 29, was to go on trial April 18 on three charges of first-degree murder and one charge of extortion. But defense attorney Rick Cordes of Olympia was granted a request Thursday to have McCarthy’s trial pushed back another six months following the handgun’s discovery in Spokane.
Four days after the Aug. 21 shooting, suspect John Allen Booth Jr. surrendered to a swarm of law enforcement in Spokane.
McCarthy was arrested in Redmond on a parole violation a day after the shooting.
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Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said Friday that the handgun was found in a house near the one Booth ran to in Spokane.
“Now we’re testing it ballistics-wise to (try to) match the bullets,” Meagher said.
Booth, 31, a former resident of Onalaska, is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated murder, one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, extortion and unlawful possession of a firearm. His trial is still scheduled for May 16.
An announcement on whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Booth is pending. Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer is expected to make that announcement no later than April 1.
To prosecutors’ knowledge, no one has been tried on the death penalty before in Lewis County.
Booth and McCarthy are accused of killing David West Sr., 52, and his son David West Jr., 16, both of Salkum, and Tony Williams, 50, of Mineral, at the home in the 100 block of Wings Way, off Equine Drive.
A fourth shooting victim, Denise Salts, survived. She was shot in the face.
Police allege the shooting occurred over a drug-debt collection gone bad.
Two days after the shooting, a witness told The Chronicle he hid in a bathroom while the four victims were shot execution-style.