Murder suspect found guilty for fatal stabbing at Richland motel in 2020

RICHLAND, Wash. — A Benton County jury found a 67-year-old man guilty of murder for fatally stabbing his neighbor at Richland’s Economy Inn following a dispute on May 9, 2020.

According to an alert from the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office, Earnace Beasley Jr. was convicted of committing murder to the first degree while armed with a deadly weapon.

Last year, Richland Police told KAPP KVEW that someone called to report that a motel tenant was stabbed during an altercation on a Saturday night in May.

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The victim, who has since been publically identified as 38-year-old William Bepler, was transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries despite intensive medical treatment.

This guilty conviction was spearheaded by two deputy prosecutors who garnered high praise from their peers:

Deputy Prosecutors Anita Petra and Kristin McRoberts did an outstanding job in achieving justice in this sad case. Both are skilled trial prosecutors, but their success in this case was also due to the countless hours of preparation. The people of Benton County are fortunate to have such hard working, amazingly great public servants working for justice and keeping our community safe.

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In its public notice, the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office also acknowledged the cooperation of victim advocate Maggie Valencia, who they say helped the key witness through this case.

Investigators from the Richland Police Department were also helpful in preparing the case for trial, according to the notice.