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Press Release

Toppenish Man Sentenced to 78 Months Imprisonment for Voluntary Manslaughter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane– Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Nolan Patrick John, III, age 25, of Toppenish, Washington, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty on December 6, 2017, to Voluntary Manslaughter. United States District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced John to 78 months imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on March 26, 2017, Yakama Nation Police Officers responded to a dispatch call to a residence in Wapato, Washington, in the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Nation. Officers knocked on the door and a male, later identified as Nolan Patrick John, III, answered. Officers saw another male, covered in blood, lying motionless on the floor. Blood spatter was on the wall of the residence. John stated that he beat up the male. The male-victim did not respond to verbal communication, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The FBI responded. FBI observed that John had injuries to his hands, but did not have any injuries to his body. FBI also observed that male-victim had no injuries to his hands.

When interviewed by FBI, John stated he began fighting with the male-victim after an altercation involving John’s mother, John, and the male-victim arose. After the fight, John noticed the victim was not breathing, so he attempted CPR and called 911. Law enforcement officers observed that the male-victim’s blood was on John’s hands and clothing, and John did not have any defensive wounds.

In a subsequent interview with FBI, John stated everyone at the residence was drinking, and he started wrestling with the victim after the victim got into an argument with John’s mother. John stated the victim did now know how to fight and he kicked the victim in the face while they were on the ground. John admitted the fight got out of control.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mendoza described John’s conduct as a “brutal attack” and commented on the pain John caused the victim, the victim’s family, and John’s own family.

United States Attorney Harrington said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department are committed to investigating and prosecuting violent crimes occurring in the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Nation.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Meghan McCalla and Thomas Hanlon, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

Updated March 16, 2018

Press Release Number: 1:17-CR-2012-SMJ-1