March 15, 1995 in City

Man Expected To Plead Guilty To Murder Could Serve Minimum Of 26 Years In Shooting Of Elk Area Resident

By The Spokesman-Review
 

One of two men accused in the Jan. 11 murder of Elk area homeowner Steve Roscoe is expected to plead guilty today to first-degree murder.

Jason V. Kukrall, 21, would serve a minimum of 26 years and four months with time off for good behavior if Pend Oreille County Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson accepts the prosecution’s recommended sentence.

Kukrall also is a suspect in the killing of a Spokane prostitute.

Prosecutor Tom Metzger said a plea agreement would require Kukrall to testify against his co-defendant, 18-year-old Tobias R. Stackhouse.

Metzger said the deal also would prevent the 43-year-old Roscoe’s widow, Debbie, from having to testify against Kukrall.

Stackhouse, meanwhile, apparently is contemplating an insanity defense. Kristianson already has approved funding for a mental evaluation, and a formal request is expected soon.

Stackhouse told The Spokesman-Review he could not comment about the case because his remarks would be “selfincriminating.” But Stackhouse said he has told his version of the Roscoe killing to another Pend Oreille County jail inmate.

Ryan Bliss, who is serving time on a rape conviction, said Stackhouse told him Kukrall fired the shot that killed Roscoe. But Bliss said Stackhouse admitted taking the lead in the Dec. 1 murder of prostitute Linda A. Guillen, 21, near Playfair Race Course in Spokane.

Kukrall’s fingerprints were found on a beer bottle at the scene of Guillen’s murder, and both he and Kukrall are suspects. However, the case has not been assigned to a prosecutor and no charges have been filed.

Kukrall and Stackhouse, both from the Elk area, also are suspected in a Jan. 7 burglary and assault that left 60-year-old Elk resident Mary Foster with a fractured skull.

Pistols stolen from Foster are believed to have been used in Roscoe’s murder.

With both suspects behind bars, Spokane city and county authorities are free to build their case without starting the 60-day speedytrial-rule clock that will begin running as soon as charges are filed in either the Guillen or Foster cases.

Metzger said his proposed agreement with Kukrall has no connection to the other cases.

Search warrant affidavits filed in Spokane County, where Kukrall and Stackhouse were arrested a few hours after the Roscoe killing, say Stackhouse almost immediately admitted his role in that crime. Later, Stackhouse told officers he and Kukrall had killed Guillen.

Authorities say Stackhouse told them he and Kukrall invited Guillen into Kukrall’s car on East Sprague after planning to rob and murder her. Stackhouse reportedly said he struck Guillen in the face when she got out of the car in the 300 block of North Lee.

Bliss said Stackhouse claimed to have kicked Guillen in the face, breaking her jaw, before stabbing her repeatedly with a knife Kukrall had tossed to him.

“Toby told me he was the only one that stabbed her,” Bliss said. “Kukrall didn’t stab her, but he was involved in beating her up to the point that she was knocked unconscious.”

Stackhouse’s account of the Roscoe burglary and shooting, as related by Bliss, is similar to the version authorities pieced together from interviews with the suspects and Debbie Roscoe.

According to Bliss, Kukrall was rifling through the Roscoes’ freezer - thinking money might be hidden there - when Stackhouse heard their car pull up. Kukrall said to run, and the two made their exit through separate doors.

Bliss said Kukrall had just descended to the back yard from a second-story deck when Steve Roscoe appeared and said, “Hey!” Kukrall turned and fired his .38-caliber handgun at Roscoe, hitting him in the chest.

Roscoe dived behind a woodpile and said, “Oh, my God.” Then Kukrall fired three more bullets, which were recovered, and Stackhouse fired one round from his .22-caliber pistol. Stackhouse’s bullet never was found, Metzger said.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email