Prosecutors want Yakima murders plea deal undone

YAKIMA — Prosecutors want a plea deal in a Yakima County triple murder case undone, but they won’t say why.

Kevin Harper was a prime suspect in the February 2011 slayings of Bill Goggin, owner of a Yakima engineering firm; his wife, Pauline; and his 98-year-old mother, Bettye. But last fall, prosecutors dropped the murder charges and Harper pleaded guilty to lesser theft and firearm offenses.

The Herald-Republic reported that during a hearing Friday, prosecutors accused Harper of somehow violating a confidential cooperation agreement. They wouldn’t give any further details, however, and said they’d explain it to the judge in a hearing closed to the public.

The judge expressed reluctance to close the courtroom, and ordered a June 13 hearing to allow news organizations and others to object.

Defense attorney Pete Mazzone strongly objected to undoing the plea deal.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

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