March 26, 2013 in City

Three arrested in death of Malden teenager

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Stapert
(Full-size photo)

Whitman County investigators are accusing three adults of providing a Spokane teen half their age with meth, then disposing of his body after he died.

Donavin Stapert, 17, who lived most recently in the small farming community of Malden, Wash., was reported missing on March 8. The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release Monday that investigators believe he died March 7 at a home in Malden.

Many details about the investigation were not released Monday.

Stapert’s half-sister, Amanda Hansen, said Stapert lived with his father in Malden. He previously attended middle school in Spokane.

Hansen, of North Bend, Ore., said Stapert moved back with his father about a year ago after spending about seven months with his mom in Oregon.

She said he would smoke marijuana but was opposed to harsher drugs.

Chastity Dawn Barkhuff, 38, of Malden, and James L. Ramson, 30, of Spokane, were arrested Saturday. Bail was set for each at $250,000. Barkhuff faces charges of controlled substance homicide, providing methamphetamine to a minor and unlawful disposal of a body. Ramson faces charges of unlawful disposal of a body, rendering criminal assistance and possession of meth.

Bobby Bilderback, 44, of Malden, was jailed in Missoula on Monday on charges of deliberate homicide, distributing a dangerous drug to a minor and possession, according to jail records.

Hansen said Donavin hoped to one day be a homebuilder. She said he was outgoing and extremely friendly. He liked to skateboard and play Xbox and loved his new dog.

“Donavin was very smart. He could do anything he wanted,” Hansen said.


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