A man was stabbed to death late Thursday in Prosser after arguing with his younger brother for hours about a $300 debt, detectives say.
Oscar Martinez, 25, had asked Alejandro Martinez to pay up.
The two brothers physically fought, then Oscar went home with his best friend and housemate, Miguel A. Rocha.
But the arguing didn’t stop.
The brothers continued to exchange texts and Snapchat messages about the money, and Alejandro allegedly said he would kill Oscar if he came to his Prosser mobile home, according to court documents.
Oscar told this friend he needed to know what his brother’s issue was so, in spite of the warning, he made the 15-minute drive back to Alejandro’s.
Rocha, who rode with Oscar, stayed inside the SUV and saw Alejandro on the front porch, armed with two kitchen knives, according to court documents.
Oscar had barely stepped onto the porch when his 21-year-old brother stabbed him several times in his chest and upper back without saying anything, documents said.
Oscar fell to the ground, and Rocha ran to help. He got Alejandro off Oscar and saw the younger brother drop the knife, documents said.
Alejandro, along with Rocha, drove Oscar to Prosser Memorial Hospital just before midnight, but medical staff could not save him.
Now, Alejandro is locked up in the Benton County jail on $100,000 bail for his brother’s death.
Alejandro appeared to have a black eye during his initial hearing Friday in Benton County Superior Court.
Judge Cameron Mitchell found probable cause to hold him on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors have until Jan. 15 to charge the younger brother or release him from jail.
An autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, said Coroner Bill Leach.
Investigators believe Alejandro invited Oscar and Rocha over to hang out sometime between 7 and 8 p.m.
It was during the visit that the brothers first fought because Oscar asked for the $300 back that he had loaned Alejandro “several weeks ago to pay his rent,” court documents said.
When interviewed by sheriff’s Detective Lee Cantu, Alejandro initially denied having anything to do with his brother’s injuries. He claimed an unknown man in black clothes attacked him during a drug deal.
But when Cantu pushed him on his story, Alejandro admitted stabbing his brother, the investigator wrote in his probable-cause affidavit.
Alejandro said the two had been arguing both over the phone and in messages, but said he never told Oscar he was going to kill him, documents said.
Alejandro added that once he knew Oscar was on his way, he grabbed a kitchen knife and went outside to wait. He dropped the knife after Oscar punched him, and Oscar picked up the knife, court documents said.
Alejandro punched his brother and took away the knife, then stabbed him several times, documents said.
His story was different than Rocha’s account, said Cantu.
Oscar reportedly was unresponsive before the two men even got him into the backseat of his girlfriend’s Range Rover.