BCSO arrests 18-year-old in connection to Kennewick homicide

KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Benton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) made an arrest after a violent assault Friday evening left one man dead.

KAPP KVEW Local News previously reported that 70-year-old Zale Underwood was the victim of a homicide, which occurred on April 22nd.

BCSO Sheriff Tom Croskrey said in a press conference Monday afternoon that 18-year-old Hector Munguia was brought to the sheriff’s office by his mother earlier around 10:10 a.m. the same morning. His mother had asked to speak to detectives in reference to a homicide.

READ: Sheriff’s office identifies Kennewick homicide victim

After interviews, BCSO and detectives came to the conclusion that Munguia lived near Underwood’s home. At this time, officials are unsure if there was any prior history between the two, or what Munguia’s alleged motive might have been.

“Based on the interview, other evidence on the case, and after consultation with the Prosecutor’s Office, the sheriff’s office arrested Hector Munguia for murder in the first degree,” Croskrey said. “There is no indication there are any other additional suspects at large. It is believed that Hector Munguia acted alone.”

Also at the press conference on Monday was Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller.

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“I can briefly explain what’s going to happen over the next couple of days,” Miller said. “The defendant has been arrested, he will appear in court for a preliminary appearance tomorrow, and our office will have 72 hours to determine whether or not formal charges are filed.”

Despite this homicide happening just hours after a long SWAT stand-off in Pasco when police say two brothers got into an altercation leading to one being stabbed, Sheriff Croskey assured listeners that the Tri-Cities is still safe.

“I did want to mention that this is an isolated event; and all the other events we’ve seen in Tri-Cities recently, they’re all isolated,” Croskey said. “It’s not this massive crime wave or gang that’s infiltrating the Tri-Cities. This is just another random event. And it just happened to be on the heels of other random events here in the Tri-Cities.”

READ: SWAT prepares to enter Pasco home after one brother allegedly stabbed another