A jury trial of a man accused of murdering a Toppenish woman begins Monday in U.S. District Court in Yakima.
Jordan Everett Stevens has been charged with first-degree murder in May 2019 death of Alillia “Lala” Minthorn, 25.
Minthorn was missing for nearly a month before her body was discovered in the hills north of Brownstown in a closed area of the Yakama reservation on May 29, 2019. She had been shot in the head.
The trial is in federal court because Minthorn and Stevens are Native American and the murder occurred on tribal land, where the FBI often assumes jurisdiction in violent crimes.
Witnesses showed investigators where Minthorn’s body was placed. A witness said she believed Minthorn was killed for talking to FBI agents about something Stevens and another witness had done, according to a trial brief.
Witnesses said they picked Minthorn up near a Toppenish homeless encampment known as The Compound on West First Avenue. From there, they drove to the closed area of the reservation where Minthorn was shot, one of the witnesses said.
The witness told investigators she worried her blood may have gotten on Minthorn’s clothes, so they stripped her down to her underclothes, the indictment said.
Several witnesses have agreed to testify at trial, according to a trial brief.
This story has been edited to correct the date of Minthorn's death.