Teenaged murder suspects appear in court

Teenaged murder suspects appear in court
BENTON COUNTY - The murder of a Richland teenager has shocked three-families, including those of the young suspects. When the two men appeared in court today, they looked much younger than 18 and 19.

It's hard for anyone to believe they're facing the kind of charges that could bring the death penalty.

It's the aftermath of that frightening morning.

"I'm heartsick. Nobody deserves to be let out on the street like that and dumped like garbage,” said family friend Genie Ehlert.

Genie Ehlert has known the family of Josh Snapp for years.

"Loving family. Just great. They loved their kids; he's a great kid,” added Ehlert.

The 17-year old was shot and killed near the Horn Rapids ORV park Thursday. Officers say two fellow teens are to blame. We tried to talk to family members of all three-teens. None of them wanted to go on-camera. Telling me they just need time.

“Why did this happen? Why did those boys do that? I can't even fathom. So cold blooded. I can't even imagine it,” said Ehlert.

From his own Facebook page, it appears Josh was trying to get his life together. He says he was engaged, and posted various raps, often about his struggles with addiction and his desire to get clean. Late Tuesday night he posted "if I keep going down this path that I chose, I'll end up dead with blood on my clothes."

And police say that's just what happened about 36-hours later. Officers say 19-year-old Josh Hunt and 18-year-old John Young are to blame. Court papers say the pair concocted their plan Wednesday night, when Young mentioned how much he hated Josh Snapp.

Officers say early on the Fourth of July, they lured the 17-year old to the desert to smoke pot. Then, court papers say the boys took turns shooting Snapp. Officers believe Young finished the teen off with a shot to the head. The affidavit says the boys tried to cover their tracks. Changing shoes and tossing the gun into the Yakima River.

But it seems they quickly realized the gravity of the crime. Showing up at this Benton City gas station a short time later. Police say the teens told the clerk they'd shot someone, and asked him to call 911.
Vickie Smith's son placed that call.

“It was awful. I get goosebumps every time people ask about it,” said station owner Vickie Smith.

Vickie expressed the sentiment of the whole community:

"Not only did one person die, but three families lost their kid,” said Smith.

The teens made that first court appearance today, but haven't been formally charged with premeditated murder. Formal arraignments are expected Wednesday. If you'd like to read the court papers filed in this case -- you'll find them posted at keprtv.com.

The teens made that first court appearance today, but haven't been formally charged with premeditated murder. Formal arraignments are expected Wednesday. If you'd like to read the court papers filed in this case, you'll find them posted at keprtv.com.