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  1. Basoodler
    WALLA WALLA — After again proclaiming his innocence, Daniel D. Dodd was led from a courtroom at the County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon to a future that could confine him in prison for the rest of his life. Dodd, who will turn 44 Tuesday, looked straight ahead as Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht sentenced him to serve 35 years and one month for the June 2011 murder of confidential drug informant Kevin Myrick.

    The sentence is the maximum allowed under state guidelines.

    Before it was imposed, a defiant Dodd told Schacht: “I did not shoot Kevin Myrick. I had no motive and nothing to gain.”

    He called the prosecution’s presumption he did so to protect his girlfriend, Tina Taylor, from a drug conviction “preposterous.” And he lashed out at what he claims is insufficient evidence and lack of thorough law enforcement investigation of other leads in the case.

    Myrick’s brother, Roger Wetter, urged Schacht to punish Dodd “to the fullest extreme.”

    “This man has no remorse for what he’s done,” Wetter said, adding that because of Dodd’s vengeance and lack of respect for human life, he took Myrick away from beloved family members, including a young daughter.

    Later, in the hallway, Wetter said even the maximum prison term isn’t enough.
    “It can never be enough,” Wetter said.

    The sentence was recommended by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabriel Acosta. It is the high end of the standard range of 27 years and seven months to 35 years and one month that Dodd faced, including a five-year firearm enhancement.

    Dodd was given credit for the 249 days he’s served in the County Jail.

    He also was placed on at least three years of community custody, a form of probation, upon release and ordered to pay nearly $70,000 in restitution, various court costs and fees.

    His attorney, Michael de Grasse, said after the 15-minute hearing he assumes Dodd will appeal.

    After a trial that lasted several days, a jury on Nov. 15 found Dodd guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm because he was not allowed to have a gun due to a prior burglary conviction.

    Dodd shot Myrick in the face about 10:20 p.m. on June 12, 2011, while Myrick was working on his girlfriend’s vehicle in the driveway of his residence at 1123 S. Third Ave. Myrick, 24, died the next day.

    Officials said Dodd killed Myrick to prevent him from testifying against Taylor, who had been arrested for delivery of hydrocodone.

    Taylor had sold Myrick prescription drugs while he was an informant for the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office. Despite his death, Taylor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

    Although no one identified Dodd as Myrick’s killer, evidence presented at his trial revealed he possessed a gun that could have fired a bullet that apparently exited Myrick’s body. Also, a cellphone Dodd was known to use was in the vicinity of Myrick’s residence just before he was shot, according to cell tower records. But Dodd testified he didn’t kill Myrick and said he was in the Clyde area at the time.

    De Grasse suggested someone could have temporarily borrowed Dodd’s cellphone from his vehicle where he kept it and theorized Myrick could have been killed by an unspecified person with whom he had an appointment.

    In a presentence investigation, Community Corrections Officer Chris Leyendecker wrote that Dodd’s life seems “to have spiraled downward the deeper he immersed himself into the drug world.”

    Dodd started using methamphetamine and has attempted suicide at least three times, Leyendecker wrote, adding Dodd “seems to have resigned himself to spending the remainder of his life in prison.”

    After Thursday’s sentencing, Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle reflected on the senselessness of Myrick’s death.
    “Our feeling was the whole goal behind (Dodd) killing Kevin Myrick was to keep him from testifying against Tina Taylor. We convicted her anyway.

    “This just shows how stupid people involved in drugs can be.”

    By Terry McConn
    As of Friday, December 28, 2012



  1. Basoodler
    Testimony: Informant made numerous buys before death

    WALLA WALLA — The defense in the murder trial of Daniel D. Dodd pointed out Friday that victim Kevin Myrick helped law enforcement by buying drugs from a number of people during the time he was a confidential informant for the Sheriff’s Office.

    Under cross-examination by Dodd’s attorney, Michael de Grasse, sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Bolster testified that Myrick bought drugs 18 times from 13 individuals — six of whom were convicted.

    Two of the buys were from Dodd’s girlfriend, Tina Taylor, who sold drugs to Myrick in November and December 2010.

    Bolster acknowledged that Myrick also bought drugs from the mother of a man who had threatened Myrick. But the man was in jail in another county when Myrick was shot and killed.

    Some of the suspects who sold drugs to Myrick were, themselves, given an opportunity to become confidential informants and were not prosecuted.

    Myrick became an informant for the Sheriff’s Office in October 2010 and made his last controlled buy on May 4, 2011, about a month before he died. Bolster characterized him as probably one of the “better-producing informants” he’s worked with over the years.

    De Grasse asked Bolster, in a community this size, how “confidential” informants can remain.

    “Whether people find out if someone is a confidential informant, obviously they do on some occasions,” Bolster said. “On others, they don’t.”

    The prosecution also called Donald Cummings, currently of Springdale, Wash., to the witness stand Friday.

    At the time of Myrick’s death, Cummings was living in Kennewick and was a friend of Dodd’s roommate, Clayton Sibbett.

    Sibbett reportedly had loaned Dodd a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver a few days before Myrick was killed. Dodd returned the gun to Sibbett shortly after the fatal shooting. Then Sibbett gave it to Cummings as part of an unrelated transaction.

    Cummings testified that sometime later, Sibbett told him he “might want to get rid of that gun.”

    Cummings added he thought the gun may have been stolen. So when the two men were at Hood Park, “I threw it out in the (Snake River) under the bridge,” Cummings told the jury.

    After authorities learned what had transpired, they contacted Cummings, who on March 6 of this year showed them where he had thrown the weapon.

    A volunteer with Columbia Basin Dive Rescue, John Pielli, testified Friday he recovered the gun in the water between a couple of boulders. The weapon reportedly had been in the water about eight months.

    It was revealed in court that Cummings has been charged in federal court with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in an unrelated case and could get special consideration by testifying in Dodd’s trial.

    But Cummings said he hasn’t been promised anything.

    Other prosecution witnesses Friday included experts from the Washington State Crime Laboratory in Cheney.

    Testimony revealed that Myrick’s DNA was found on a bullet located at the crime scene. The bullet apparently had exited Myrick’s body.

    But the jury heard that the bullet could not be conclusively identified or eliminated as having been fired from the revolver recovered from the Snake River.

    Dodd’s trial will resume Wednesday.


    Daniel D. Dodd, 43.

    Murder victim:

    Kevin Myrick, 24, who was shot in the face about 10:20 p.m. June 12, 2011, while working on his girlfriend’s vehicle in the driveway of his residence at 1123 S. Third Ave. He died the next day at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

    Superior Court charges:

    First-degree murder, including a firearm enhancement that would add five years to a sentence. Dodd also is accused of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. (Dodd is not allowed to possess a gun because he was convicted in 1989 of second-degree burglary.) If convicted of the charges, he would face more than four decades in prison.

    The trial began Tuesday and is expected to last several days.

    Information and allegations relating to the case: Myrick was an informant for the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office who had made a number of controlled drug buys, including one from Dodd’s girlfriend, Tina L. Taylor. She was arrested March 1, 2011, for delivery of hydrocodone and Myrick was a prospective witness against her.

    When Dodd allegedly killed Myrick to eliminate him as a prospective witness, Taylor’s trial was set to begin later that month. She ended up pleading guilty and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

    During the murder investigation, police learned that Dodd’s roommate, Clayton Sibbett, had loaned him a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver about four days before Myrick was killed. Such a gun is consistent with one that will fire a .38-caliber slug that apparently had exited Myrick’s body and was found under a bush at the homicide scene.

    A few hours after the murder occurred, Dodd returned the borrowed gun to Sibbett, who then gave it to a friend, Donald Cummings, about three or four days later. Cummings ultimately threw the gun into the Snake River under the bridge at Hood Park. After Cummings showed police the location on March 6 of this year, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue recovered a revolver matching the suspected murder weapon.

    Dodd — who had been incarcerated on unrelated warrants since June 16, 2011 — was charged March 12 with Myrick’s murder and remains in the County Jail.

    An examination by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab of the bullet found at the crime scene was inconclusive as to whether it had been fired by the gun that was recovered. But the gun couldn’t be ruled out as the murder weapon.

    Dodd has denied having anything to do with Myrick’s death and said he was at his home on Wooden Road the night Myrick was killed.

    However, investigators determined that his cell phone received a voice mail at 10:15 that night. “The cell phone tower transmitting the call is located on South Third (Avenue) in Walla Walla, and encompasses the area of 1123 S. Third Ave,” according to a police report.



    Cellphone location focus at murder trial

    Daniel D. Dodd's murder trial continues in Superior Court

    By Terry McConn
    As of Friday, November 9, 2012

    WALLA WALLA — Daniel D. Dodd’s cellphone was in proximity to Kevin Myrick’s residence just before he was fatally wounded, according to testimony Thursday by an FBI special agent.

    Jennifer Banks of the Spokane office told the jury at Dodd’s murder trial that based on Verizon Wireless records and a spot check she performed this week, the phone received a voice mail call at 10:15 p.m. on June 12, 2011.

    Myrick was shot in the driveway of his home at 1123 S. Third Ave. about five minutes later.

    Banks testified she couldn’t pinpoint the exact latitude and longitude of Dodd’s cellphone, but the call to it was initiated and terminated from a cell tower near the 2400 block of South Third.

    “It liked that tower, that phone at the time,” she said.

    But she acknowledged under cross-examination by defense attorney Michael de Grasse that she couldn’t tell who was in possession of Dodd’s phone during the time in question.

    The testimony is significant because Dodd reportedly told investigators he had been at his home on Wooden Road in the Clyde area the night Myrick was shot and had his cellphone with him.

    Law enforcement officials told the jury Thursday that Myrick — who had a chemical dependency problem — had become a narcotics informant for the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office to “work off” potential criminal charges of burglary or possession of stolen property.

    He became a paid informant before his death. Walla Walla police Sgt. Chris Buttice testified that Myrick wanted to “burn all his ties to the narcotics world.”

    As an informant, Myrick bought drugs from Dodd’s girlfriend, Tina Taylor, who was arrested in March 2011 for delivery of hydrocodone. Myrick was a prospective witness at her trial, but was killed before it occurred. She ended up pleading guilty after her trial began.

    Taylor made several monitored phone calls to Dodd while in jail awaiting trial. As the date approached, “Her tone and demeanor became very frantic on the phone to Mr. Dodd,” Buttice told the jury.

    De Grasse pointed out in questioning Buttice that Taylor pleaded guilty even though Myrick had been killed, so he ultimately was not a “crucial witness” in her case. But led by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gabriel Acosta, Buttice added that Myrick was wearing a “body wire” during the drug transaction with Taylor and that recording was played to the jury at Taylor’s trial before she cut it short by pleading guilty.

    Buttice acknowledged under questioning by de Grasse that Myrick’s residence had been “firebombed” a few weeks before he was murdered. Buttice said Myrick had been “afraid of harm to him” and law enforcement gave him money on several occasions for a motel or to pay for other safeguards.

    Also, “We spent time as we could in the neighborhood,” but weren’t able to provide 24-hour protection for Myrick, Buttice said.

    In other testimony Thursday, sheriff’s Sgt. Gary Bolster said the suspected murder weapon — a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver recovered from the Snake River in March of this year — is capable of firing a .38-caliber slug, such as one that killed Myrick and was recovered at the scene of the shooting.

  2. Frmrjunkie
    do the crime, do the time. no good can ever become of snitching. I've personally been caught up in a few sticky situations & offered by law enforcement to be let go by giving some names. no way, un-uh, don't care what the circumstances are; I'll take my punishment.

    Had someone snitch on me once & I'll never forgive him for that.
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