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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Jury finds second suspect guilty of six charges in Jason Fox murder

UPDATED: Tue., June 21, 2022

Fox  (Courtesy)
Fox (Courtesy)

Riley Hillestad was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder for the 2020 killing of Jason Fox.

The jury also found Hillestad guilty of first-degree manslaughter, unauthorized removal or concealment of a body, tampering with physical evidence, unlawful disposal of remains and failure to notify a coroner, according to Pend Oreille County Superior Court documents.

He was found not guilty of two other charges: first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.

Sentencing for Hillestad is scheduled for July 22 at 9 a.m.

On Oct. 4, 2020, authorities found Fox, 19, with his hands bound behind his back in a shallow grave on the grounds of a riverfront wedding venue outside of Newport. Fox had been reported missing since Sept. 16, 2020.

Three other men were charged in the case. In February, Claude Merritt was sentenced to 28 years in prison for first-degree murder and other charges related to the death of Fox.

Murder, manslaughter and kidnapping charges were dropped against Kevin Belding in December 2021 when he entered a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to rendering criminal assistance and failure to notify a corner, KXLY reported at the time.

The trial for Matthew Raddatz-Freeman has not begun.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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