YAKIMA, Wash. – A federal jury has found a man guilty of killing a Harrah woman on the Yakama Nation reservation in 2016.
George Skylar Cloud, 22, was found guilty of first-degree murder and using a firearm in a violent crime in connection with the death of Felina Blanch Metsker, who was killed sometime between March 23 and April 1, 2016. The jury deliberated for an hour and 12 minutes at U.S. District Court in Yakima.
Cloud was tried in federal court because he is a citizen of the Yakama Nation and the homicide occurred on the reservation.
In his closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Hanlon said Cloud killed Metsker at a trailer on Barkes Road because “she had the courage to call police and report a crime.”
“This was a plan. (Cloud) intended to kill her because she was a snitch,” Hanlon said.
But Defense Attorney Nicholas Marchi said federal prosecutors had not proven that Cloud was the one who killed Metsker, nor had she called police to report any crimes. There is no DNA or fingerprints linking Cloud to the killing, Marchi said. Instead, he said the state’s case came down to the word of two convicted felons who were likely making deals for leniency.
But Hanlon said the men’s testimony was backed up by physical evidence at the trailer where the killing took place, and where Metsker’s body was found. And he said the men, one a friend of Metsker, the other a cellmate of Cloud’s when he was being held in the Sunnyside jail, did not know each other.
Hanlon also said while there was no evidence that Metsker had ever called police, he said Cloud’s belief that she did was the motive for the killing.
The trial before Judge Stanley Bastian began Monday.
This story will be updated.