Sundberg murder trial continues


EPHRATA, WA,-The Columbia Basin Herald reports another defendant charged in the murder of 31-year old Jill Sundberg of Quincy took the stand on Monday telling the jury he didn’t remember much of anything that happened that night in December 2016.

photo of Mendez-Villanueva from Columbia Basin Herald

27-year old Mendez Villanueva has already pled guilty to second-degree murder in the case and is the second of two co-defendants to testify in the first degree murder trial of Gustavo Tapia Rodriguez.

Photo of Tapia-Rodriguez from Columbia Basin Herald 

Rodriguez is the alleged ring-leader accused in the shooting of Sundberg 13 times in the back of the head and leaving her in a frozen parking lot off the Old Vantage Highway.

Jill Marie Sundberg photo from Grant County Sheriff

Mendez Villanueva reiterated in court Monday that after Sundberg was shot and killed, he plunged a knife through a cardboard sign and into Sundberg’s back after she was deceased, but that was about all Villanueva said he remembered.

Grant County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene on Dec. 22, to investigate the execution-style murder of Jill Marie Sundberg.

Villanueva is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence as a result of his guilty plea, after which he will be deported. According to law enforcement, Mendez Villanueva, fellow co-defendant Albarran Verona and Tapia Rodriguez are all in the country illegally, and will consequently be deported at the end of legal proceedings. Final arguments are expected on Friday.

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.