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The original item was published from 11/27/2023 4:03:37 PM to 11/28/2023 9:04:23 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: November 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] UPDATE: Jury Finds Murder Suspect, Stephen H. Yohler, Guilty on All Counts

SVPD

UPDATE: Jury Finds Murder Suspect, Stephen H. Yohler, Guilty on All Counts

 

On November 21, 2023, in Spokane County Superior Court, with Superior Court Annette Plese presiding, a jury found Stephen H. Yohler (21) guilty on all counts for the May 29, 2021, gang-related murder of 15-year-old Preston Grzogorek. 


 After a day of deliberations, the jury found Yohler Guilty on:


 Count I
: Aggravated Murder 1st Degree.


 Count II:
Murder 1st Degree with Aggravating Circumstances, finding that he was armed with a firearm during the crime, committed a felony gang-related offense for the benefit or reputation of the gang, and involved a minor (Daisy L. Redthunder-17 at the time) in the commission of said offense.


 Count III:
Conspiracy to commit Murder 1st Degree, with a firearm enhancement found.


 Count IV:
Tampering with a witness.


 The jury heard testimony from friends, neighbors, and family members of Preston Grzogorek.  They also heard from the defendant’s co-conspirator, Daisy L. Redthunder.

 

The facts show that on March 29, 2021, Stephen H. Yohler solicited a minor (Daisy Redthunder, 17 at the time) to lure Preston out of the Village apartments.  Yohler was lying in wait with a .9mm handgun that he used to shoot and kill Preston.   Yohler, a member of the 18th Street Blue Devil street gang, was arrested on May 6, 2021, after members of the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force visually located Yohler at a residence in the 500 block of S. Coach in Spokane Valley.  With the assistance of Spokane Valley Deputies, Detectives, and SWAT, he was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail, where he remains.   


During trial, the jury also learned Yohler received gang tattoos for the 18th Street gang as a result of this murder.   Yohler testified at trial and acknowledged his membership in the local 18th Street chapter.  

Yohler is scheduled to return for sentencing to Spokane County Superior Court on February 8, 2024.

 

On May 8, 2021, Daisy Redthunder was later arrested in Nevada with the assistance of the Sparks Police Department, and she was extradited back to Spokane County for trial.   


 This case was investigated by the Spokane Valley Major Crimes Unit with Detective Dean Meyer, who worked tirelessly as the lead investigator.    


 The case was successfully prosecuted by Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Preston McCollam, assisted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katie McNulty.    

 

###

 

Press Release sent on May 8, 2021:

 

UPDATE: Second Murder Suspect Arrested

 

Continuing to work the investigation into the March 29, 2021, murder of 15-year-old Preston Grzogorek at an apartment complex in the 9700 block of E. 6th Avenue, Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives identified a second suspect, a 17-year-old juvenile female (Daisy L. Redthunder). 

 

Today, Investigators received information the juvenile murder suspect may be at a residence in Sparks, Nevada. Major Crime Detectives contacted the Sparks Police Department, confirmed the information, and requested their assistance in locating and arresting the juvenile for the valid felony warrant, charging her for Murder 1st Degree. 

 

This afternoon, members of the Sparks Police Department located and arrested this second juvenile suspect. She will remain in their custody, awaiting extradition back to Spokane County.

 

We would like to thank the Sparks Police Department for their assistance with this investigation. 

 

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Press Release sent on May 6, 2021:

 

UPDATE: Detectives Identify and Arrest Murder Suspect 


 
Through the ongoing investigation, Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives identified 19-year-old Stephen H. Yohler as a suspect in the March 29, 2021, murder of 15-year-old Preston Grzogorek at an apartment complex in the 9700 block of E. 6th Avenue.   

 

Investigators requested and obtained a felony arrest warrant charging Yohler with Murder 1st Degree.  

 

This afternoon, at approximately 1:40 pm., members of the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force visually located Yohler at a residence in the 500 block of S. Coach in Spokane Valley.  Spokane Valley Patrol Deputies and Detectives began to respond to the location to assist.   
 
 Due to the violent nature of the charge and the high risk associated with its service, the SWAT Team’s assistance was also requested.

 

Yohler was observed outside the home and was quickly taken into custody without incident.  He was later booked into the Spokane County Jail for Murder 1st Degree.    

 

Major Crimes Detective obtained a search warrant for the residence, which was served with the assistance of the SWAT Team.  

 

This remains an active investigation.   Additional arrests and charges are possible. 

 

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Original Press Release sent on March 30, 2021:

 

Major Crimes Detectives Investigating Late-Night Shooting that Tragically Took the Life of 15-Year-Old Juvenile 

 

Spokane Valley Major Crimes Detectives are investigating a late-night shooting at an apartment complex located in the 9700 block of E. 6th Avenue that claimed the life of a 15-year-old male. 

 

Anyone with information regarding this incident or can help Investigators identify the person(s) involved is urged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10038368.

 

On March 29, 2021, at approximately 10:50 pm., Spokane Valley Deputies began to respond to a call of a possible shooting in the 9700 block of E. 6th Avenue in Spokane Valley. 

Arriving Deputies located a 15-year-old juvenile male suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds and immediately provided medical aid. Spokane Valley Fire and AMR personnel arrived and took over the victim’s care, but unfortunately, despite everyone’s efforts, the victim died at the scene. 

Deputies quickly established a perimeter, and a K9 Unit, Air 1, and Major Crimes Detectives were called out to assist.

The initial information indicates the victim went outside to meet a person or persons and was struck by gunfire. 

Witnesses stated a person wearing dark clothing was seen running from the scene. 

From information obtained during the investigation thus far, Detectives believe the victim knew the suspect(s) he was meeting. The information obtained also indicates the victim was involved in an ongoing conflict with several individuals. 

This continues to be an active investigation, and no arrests have been made at this time. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident or can help Investigators identify the person(s) involved is urged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10038368.

 

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