Home USA News 13-year-old charged with murder in Kennewick, Washington ambush shooting

13-year-old charged with murder in Kennewick, Washington ambush shooting


A 13-year-old boy was arrested on Thursday as one of the suspects in the crime the killing of a recent Hanford High School graduate who was shot in Kennewick while riding in the back seat of a Jeep on her way to a party.

Yatsivi Sarabia, 18, was shot dead on October 15.

Although the Benton County Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the teenager arrested, court documents show a warrant was issued Wednesday for 13-year-old Layshawn Bethey on a charge of aggravated murder.

Benton County Sheriff’s Office detectives located Bethea at 2:00 p.m. Thursday with the assistance of U.S. Marshals.

They stopped the car he was driving near 10th Avenue and Ely Street in Kennewick, according to the sheriff’s office.

The teenager was booked into the Benton Franklin Juvenile Center in Kennewick on a charge of first degree murder with a firearm.

He is the third teenager arrested in connection with Sarabi’s death.

Isaiah Combs, 19, pleaded not guilty Friday to aggravated first-degree murder in the Sarabia shooting.

1 Main Isaiah Combs Murder suspect preliminary court.jpg
Murder suspect Isaiah Combs, 20, smiles as he looks around the Benton County courtroom during a preliminary hearing. Bob Brody bbrawdy@tricityherald.com

If convicted of the charges, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Cornell Green, 18, of Kennewickwas also arrested last week on suspicion of first-degree criminal assistance in Sarabi’s death.

Rendering.jpg of the Carnell Green preliminary hearing
Suspect Cornell Green raises his hand to admit to Court Commissioner Megan Whitmire that he can see and hear the proceedings of his preliminary appearance via video link in Benton County Superior Court. Bob Brody bbrawdy@tricityherald.com

Bethea is the second youth taken to the juvenile center this week on suspicion of murder.

A 14-year-old boy charged with shooting and killing 19-year-old Julian Chavez Kennewick on Saturday. Chavez was found dead in his wrecked car in the 1100 block of West 5th Avenue in Kennewick.

The 14-year-old is being held on $1 million bail, but has not yet been charged.

Disagreement in Spokane

Investigators say Sarabia was in the backseat of a Jeep following Combs in another vehicle to a party when he allegedly began shooting at the Jeep.

Kimberly Sarabia The mother of the murder victim.jpg
Kimbertly Sarabia, the mother of homicide victim Yazivi Sarabia, wears a memorial shirt for her slain daughter at a preliminary hearing Friday in the case of suspect Isaiah Combs. Bob Brody bbrawdy@tricityherald.com

Sarabia was hit in the neck and was unresponsive when paramedics reached her.

The attack is said to have followed an argument between Combs and the driver of the Jeep, Abreyana Asselin. on a trip to Spokane earlier that day.

Five people were on the trip, including Combs, Sarabia, Asselin and two other young women.

Combs and Asselin had been friends for several years, but they got into an argument during the ride, and Combs ended up pulling out a gun and pointing it at Asselin’s head, according to court documents.

The four women left Combs in Spokane and returned to the Tri-Cities on Saturday, October 15. But later that day, they met Combs again on Columbia Drive when he promised to take them to a party in the 5800 block of South Yew Street.

Court documents show Maya Williams, Bethea and Green were with Combs and the women in Spokane when he pulled a gun on Asselin. Investigators say Williams later drove to Spokane with Green to pick up Combs.

Arrows over 1 mile

Combs promised the women in the Jeep that he would bring them to the party. As they drove there, Williams’ vehicle and another vehicle were seen in front of the Jeep. Investigators now say another car was linked to the shooting and was Combs’ associates, including Bethea.

Investigators say witnesses reported shots fired from both vehicles, but have not named anyone from the other vehicle as a suspect in the second shooter. The shooting continued about a mile off Chemical Drive in East Kennewick.

Two women in the Jeep and an unrelated witness reported seeing a man shooting from the back seat of the driver’s side of Williams’ vehicle.

Yatsivy Sarabia fatal shooting scene 397.jpg
Traffic moves past several police investigation evidence painted circles on Highway 397 where 18-year-old Yazivi Sarabia was killed on October 15, 2022. Bob Brody bbrawdy@tricityherald.com

Investigators say Green was in the front passenger seat of her car and Combs was sitting behind Williams when Combs fired. Another man and a woman, who have not yet been charged with the crime, were in the back seat with Combs.

Assalin drove back to her father’s house, where they were met by police and medics who tried to save her life. But Sarabia died before an ambulance could take her to the hospital.

After the shooting, Combs appears to have fled to Spokane. Green reportedly told investigators he also drove to Spokane to say goodbye to Combs and Bethea, who were going to stay.

Investigators say Green then returned to his home in the 3800 block of 19th Court and placed the dark-colored handgun in a storage container in his bedroom. The gun and ammunition matched the description of the weapon used by Combs, as did shell casings found at the scene of the shooting.

Reporter Cameron Probert contributed to this report.

This story was originally published November 3, 2022 at 9:06 p.m.

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Senior Staff Writer Annette Carey covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She worked as a reporter in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years.

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