Lower Valley

Yakima driver pleads guilty to killing 17-year-old field worker

A man who ran over and killed a 17-year-old girl working in a field on the Yakama reservation pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in U.S. District Court. Joshua Sampson’s guilty plea comes after more than two years and five trial postponements. Sampson’s initial plea was innocent, but he changed that during a status hearing last week. Sampson is accused of driving onto a field and running over and killing Petrona Mendez Ruiz in 2019. The SUV Sampson was driving had to be lifted off her body. Ruiz came here from Guatemala with her father to work.