Three murder charges dropped in Yakima beating deaths

YAKIMA — Prosecutors have dropped all first-degree murder charges against a Yakima County man who was accused of beating three family members to death during a robbery.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reported Wednesday that only two minor charges remained in a plea deal struck between prosecutors and 30-year-old Kevin Harper. He pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and a count of possession of stolen property, and was sentenced to just over seven years in prison

Harper had been charged in the February 2011 slayings of Bill Goggin, his wife, Pauline, and his 98-year-old mother, Bettye.

Prosecutors said that they believe murder charges against Harper could not be proven. They said a witness emerged two weeks ago that disrupted the timeline authorities had created.

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Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
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