Yakama Nation man sentenced to 20 years for Toppenish murder | News

Yakama Nation man sentenced to 20 years for Toppenish murder | News
Yakama Nation man sentenced to 20 years for Toppenish murder | News

YAKIMA, Wash.-A member of the Yakama Nation will spend 20 years in federal prison after they pleaded guilty to second degree murder and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Silaz Elijah James,19, will also serve five years of supervised release after his 20 year sentence and must also pay $6,620 in restitution for the April 2022 murder of a woman in Toppenish.

“A young lady’s life was taken and Mr. James will spend the next several years in federal prison,” said Vanessa Waldref, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragic and senseless crime.”

James reportedly got into an argument with the victim over money inside a Toppenish home before leaving and firing one shot into the house.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for Eastern Washington, the shot hit a female in the chest and killed her. James then got into a car with two other people and fired two more shots at people outside the home as they drove away. No one else was injured in the shooting.

James was 17 at the time of the shooting, however, in April 2023 his case was transferred from juvenile to adult status. He pleaded guilty on Jan. 9, 2024.

 
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