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Prosecutors Will Not Close Kevin Harper Case

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Yakima County Prosecutors have decided they will not file a motion to close hearings to the media in the Kevin Harper case…the man who authorities originally charged in the Goggin murder case. prosecutors had said the new evidence could hurt Kevin Harper’s right to a fair trial. Harper was originally charged with three counts of aggravated, first-degree murder in the deaths of three members of the Goggin family in February 2011. Prosecutors eventually offered him a plea deal on lesser charges after discovering they did not have enough evidence against him. However, prosecutors say he violated the terms of that deal in April and pushed for a re-trial. A major issue today was two conflicting agreements made by the prosecution: one with Harper and one with Harper’s wife, Crystal Gray-West, that the judge only learned about in court Thursday.

“You have to live by the document that you chose to enter into with this gentleman and Ms. Grey-West. And there is great… Inconsistency in this document… To put it mildly,” says Superior Court Judge Ruth Reukauf. In addition to the agreement problems, the prosecution had not supplied the defense with all witnesses’ names and information. That is despite an order from the judge at the last hearing requiring them to do so. The judge will decide whether the case can continue after another hearing in September.

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