July 12, 1997 in City

Third Teenager Arrested In Slaying Of Immigrant 15-Year-Old Turns Himself In; Alleged Cohorts Caught Earlier

Associated Press
 

A third teenager was arrested Friday in the shooting death of a Russian immigrant whose body was found in an irrigation canal, sheriff’s officials said.

A 15-year-old Grandview youth turned himself in to Grandview police and was in custody on an investigative hold at the Benton County Juvenile Justice Center, Undersheriff Bill Morey said.

Two other teens - an 18-year-old and his 14-year-old brother - remained in custody Friday after being arrested Wednesday in the slaying of Guivi Darbeliani, 27, of Prosser.

Neither brother has been charged with a crime. A judge on Thursday ordered the 18-year-old held on $200,000 bail as a material witness and potential first-degree murder suspect.

The 14-year-old appeared in juvenile court, where a judge also ordered him held as a material witness or potential murder suspect.

Prosecutors have until Monday to bring formal charges.

Darbeliani’s body was found Tuesday in an irrigation canal west of Prosser near the Yakima County line.

An autopsy determined Darbeliani had been shot in the head at least three times. It was unclear how long the body had been in the irrigation canal before it was discovered. Investigators have not discussed a motive.

Darbeliani and the 1995 Dodge Avenger he had recently bought had been missing since the evening of July 4.

The brothers were arrested after authorities received a tip Wednesday from someone who reported seeing a car matching the description of Darbeliani’s in Pasco, Sheriff Jim Kennedy said.

Sheriff’s detectives were driving to the Pasco address to check out the tip when they noticed the car pass by, Kennedy said.

Detectives stopped the car and arrested the 18-year-old driver, Kennedy said. His brother was arrested separately later in the day.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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