Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Defendant: Daniel D. Dodd, 43.
Kevin Myrick, 24, who was shot in the face about 10:20 p.m. June 12, 2011, while working on his girlfriend’s vehicle outside 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 a friend of Dodd had lent him a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson 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 his friend, who then reportedly gave it to another man about three or four days later. That man ultimately threw the gun into the Snake River under the bridge at Hood Park after he found out Dodd had said the gun had been used. After the man who threw the gun away 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.