Arrow-right Camera


Arrest made in Othello double homicide

UPDATED: Fri., July 12, 2013, 11:12 a.m.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with a double homicide in an Othello orchard earlier this week.

Francisco A. Rizo, of Connell, Wash., was arrested without incident and will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder, a news release from the sheriff’s office said.

Juan Luis Rizo-Torres, 39, and Ruben Gonzalez-Navarette, 29, both of Othello, were found shot to death in an orchard in the 1700 Block of West Bench Road around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Sheriff Douglas Barger said the suspect is Rizo-Torres’ uncle and the two victims worked at the orchard for Foreman Fruit Company out of Wenatchee.

Barger said the shooting was believed to have happened sometime the afternoon or evening before, following an argument and fight between the victims and a third orchard worker. The other orchard worker is not being identified, Barger said, but is also the suspect’s nephew.

He said the uncle found out about the fight between the three workers, which was over work hours, and went to the scene a few hours after the fight.

Both victims were in a vehicle, the sheriff said, and Rizo fired “multiple” shots through a window, killing the men.

The release identified the gun used as a small-caliber handgun.

Autopsies on the victims are scheduled for today in Moses Lake.

Barger said the case is not gang-related and is still under investigation.

There are two comments on this story »