Update: Due to newly discovered evidence, the US~Observer is revising and correcting the following article that was published online September 6, 2019.
By Edward Snook
Okanogan County, WA – A Developmentally challenged young man has been charged with two murders in Okanogan County, WA that some witnesses claim were committed by another. Twenty-one-year-old Andrew Newman was arrested on July 20, 2017 and has been incarcerated for more than two years. Andrew was just eighteen years old at the time of his arrest. Okanogan County officials have shuffled Andrew back and forth between Eastern Washington State Hospital (for competency restoration evaluations) and the Okanogan County jail several times.
Young Andrew Newman had been diagnosed, “unable to aid and assist in his own defense”. Now, after talks between those conducting the case, he has been deemed to be competent to stand trial.
Andrew had suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was only three years old and it has clearly affected the quality of his life and how he deals with others – reportedly, ever since his accident, Andrew makes-things-up and has tried to pass them off as the truth.
Andrew grew up in Okanogan County but due to the lack of services for those with disabilities in the small rural area of Washington State, he moved to Hawaii with his mother.
When Andrew turned eighteen, he no longer qualified for Developmental Disability (D.D.) services in Hawaii as a minor, and adult D.D. services were limited. The decision was made to look for a residential placement in Washington where he could be close to family and receive much needed services to help him become an independent adult. The plan fell apart when the Department of Developmental Disabilities denied his request for services despite the fact they were provided “mountains” of documentation from Hawaii providers. Washington State D.D. insisted that Andrew have all new testing done by Washington providers in order to qualify for the federal program. This was problematic due to the fact there were no providers locally in the Omak, WA area to perform what was being requested.
In June of 2017, Andrew’s family finally managed to fulfill the testing requirements, however, just days later none of that would matter as Andrew’s unimaginable, life-altering nightmare began.
Andrew and the Murders
During the evening hours of June 21, 2017 Andrew found that he was locked out of his stepbrother’s home where he was staying. Not really knowing what to do or where to go, Andrew left to wander the streets nearby. According to witnesses, Andrew was crossing the bridge in Omak when he noticed a gathering of adults on the Okanogan River riverbank and he walked over to say hello.
According to police reports and witness statements there were 12 people partying on the riverbank that night. Several witnesses stated that they were all using alcohol and/or drugs and some of them were highly intoxicated.
Unfortunately, Andrew had been given money that day intended for his living expenses and “his new friends” who learned of his holdings decided to convince Andrew to walk to the nearby convenience store to purchase alcohol. He was reportedly sold alcohol three separate times that evening.
You see, because of his disability, Andrew is very easily influenced by peers, potential friends and older individuals. He yearns for acceptance by others, whether he knows them well or not.
Also included in reports was that there were injectable drugs being used by some, as well as pills that were being crushed and snorted. Andrew says he was given a powder called “Xanax” to snort and that he drank so much alcohol he remembers vomiting on the ground. Despite getting sick, Andrew was still thrilled to meet his new “friends”.
Some of those on the riverbank were fighting and arguing in the drunken and/or “high” state they were all in. According to the police report, a witness stated Joseph Shawl accidentally dropped his dog Rusty into the fire pit and a fistfight had broken out over it. It is important to note that this incident reportedly happened prior to Andrew Newman ever being on the riverbank that evening.
Among those at the riverbank was 53-year-old Patrick Antone Yallup. Yallup was a convicted felon. In 2002, he was arrested for brutally beating an Idaho man nearly to death. The victim David Morrell never recovered from his horrific injuries. Morrell died in the hospital eleven months after the violent attack at the age of 50. Yallup had already accepted a plea agreement for aggravated battery and was serving time when Morrell died.
Patrick Antone Yallup has a long criminal history and is allegedly known to be “extremely abusive to family members.” According to one of the witnesses at the riverbank, “In the early morning hours of June 22, 2017 Patrick Yallup became enraged at Shawl and Grace Harris fighting over the dog. Yallup beat Joseph Shawl to unconsciousness and then rolled Shawl – still alive – into the river.” According to some of those there, the Okanogan River was very swollen at the time and was just a few yards away from where Yallup brutally beat Shawl.
Patrick Yallup was then confronted by fifty-five-year-old Javier Sanchez who reportedly stated, “I saw what you did.” Javier then ran to get his new cell phone, which he had purchased just hours earlier, to call the police. According to witnesses, Javier never made it to his phone as Patrick Yallup grabbed him from behind, put him in a headlock and then broke his neck. He then allegedly rolled Sanchez into the river as well.
But is this what happened? Information gathered in our continuing investigation suggests that Andrew Newman may have played a role in Sanchez’s death. To what extent, no one can really know for certain, because all of the individuals there were either drunk, drugged-up or both. However, the physical evidence points toward corroborating the “story” Andrew later told his father.
Witness statements show these events occurred between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m.
After the deaths, Andrew walked down the riverbank, crossed Hwy. 97 and went back to his stepbrother’s home. He sat on the steps until his stepbrother finally let him in. Even though Andrew tried to speak with him, his stepbrother refused to talk. Andrew showered and decided to walk back to the Chevron station in Omak and call his mom and dad. He managed to reach his dad, who was already in the area looking for him because Andrew was reported missing by family members.
His dad picked him up at the Chevron station and Andrew revealed to his dad the terrible things that happened on the riverbank, including him “curb-stomping” an individual. Due to the fact Andrew had consumed alcohol, along with his disabilities, Andrew’s father decided to call Andrew’s caseworker at Okanogan Behavior Health, thinking Andrew was acting delusional. The worker notified police with Andrew’s claims.
Omak Detective Marcos Ruiz arrived to question Andrew. According to one witness, “In Andrew’s mind the police were his friends, they picked him up in police cars and gave him food, soda, and even cigarettes if he asked.” His stepfather is a Federal Police Officer and Andrew was appreciative of any time he could spend with them.
Ruiz then took him to where Andrew said the crimes had occurred. Joseph Shawl’s family members along with some of the remaining witnesses were at the riverbank when Detective Ruiz arrived with Andrew.
According to reports, Patrick Yallup’s cousin, Grace Harris, who was also on the riverbank that previous night, proceeded to yell at Andrew telling him “nothing had happened, and that Andrew was a liar.”
The police left the scene and reportedly stated they could find no evidence of a crime, despite the fact that Joseph Shawl’s family had his dog with singed hair. They also reported finding blood in the area and Shawl’s belongings in the fire pit.
Police Brutality – A Dose of Reid Technique?
Detective Ruiz took Andrew to the police station where he and Sergeant Donnelly Tallant Jr. were going to question him further. Andrew’s body was photographed showing no defensive wounds. Andrew did have mosquito bites on his legs that were slightly bleeding and a bump on his forehead from where he says Shawl hit him. However, according to Yallup’s written testimony it was in fact Yallup that hit Andrew with a rock, not Shawl, when Andrew tried to stop Yallup from beating Shawl – Shawl and Yallup looked similar and it was dark outside.
According to Andrew, during questioning, Ruiz left the room at one point to give Andrew time to think about his story. Andrew states when Ruiz left the room Sergeant Tallant got in his face and started screaming at him. He was so close that Tallant’s spit was hitting Andrew in the face. Andrew stated, Tallant told me, “You’re going to jail if you don’t tell us what we need to hear.” Reportedly, the video that was recording the interview had been turned off during this time. The video was restarted when Ruiz came back in. After the interview Andrew was arrested.
We have been able to verify that Officer Donnelly Tallant Jr. has been sued at least once in the past for “Brutality Against a Disabled Individual.”
Reportedly, Grace Harris was previously in possession of Shawl’s coat that had blood on it and she was caught trying to throw it into the river.
On the evening of June 28, 2017, Kristen Little Bear Cate showed up at the Omak police station and reported that she had picked up a hitchhiker at sunrise on June 22, 2017. That hitchhiker was later identified as Patrick Yallup’s brother, Anthony Frank. Frank reportedly told Cate and two other women in the car, “he had just witnessed his brother and cousin murder someone.” There is no mention in the police report that Detective Ruiz interviewed the other witnesses in the car with Cate.
Anthony Frank was questioned by Ruiz but there is no mention of him being picked up hitchhiking in Ruiz’s report. Anthony Frank’s statement to police is on page 21 of the police report. Frank states that Yallup drug Shawl towards the river and that the “Big White Boy” (Andrew Newman) was standing by Frank the entire time.
On June 28, 2017, police traced Javier Sanchez’s new cell phone to Risky Baldarama’s home. Baldarama was not only in possession of the cell phone that Sanchez had purchased prior to his being murdered, police also found bloody clothing in his backpack. Baldarama was questioned and released – No forensic testing is mentioned in the police report of the bloody clothing.
On June 28, 2017, Joseph Shawl’s family made the grim discovery of his body in the Okanogan River.
On July 7, 2017, police went to Anthony Frank’s home in Nespelem looking for Patrick Yallup. Frank told police where Yallup was hiding. Reportedly, police later found Grace Harris hiding in Nespelem with Patrick Yallup. Yallup had a black eye, deep scratches on his forearms, he was limping and had scabs on his knuckles.
Ruiz reportedly asked Yallup, “Are you ready to take a murder wrap for a Fat White Boy you didn’t know?” Yallup told police he didn’t remember, and he wasn’t a snitch.
Yallup was arrested that day and charged only in the death of Shawl.
After Andrew refused his attorney’s request to consider a plea deal, Yallup was given his own deal by former Prosecutor Branden Platter to testify against Andrew. You see, after sitting in jail for nearly a year, Yallup never indicated Andrew was guilty of murder. That is until Prosecutor Branden Platter made an unbelievable plea deal with him – Yallup was given a mere 36 months in prison. Yallup has since been released from prison.
We are told by a confidential source that Prosecutor Arian Noma is having trouble locating Patrick Yallup even though he is on Parole with the Department of Corrections.
Routine False Prosecution? Or, Warranted Charges?
Relying on an insider’s report of Sanchez’s autopsy, it appears that some of his injuries were consistent with being “curb-stomped.” We are informed that there is more evidence against Newman, however, we have not been able to obtain it.
Prosecutor Noma must be aware that he cannot convict Andrew Newman of murder, simply because Andrew is incapable of intentionally hurting anyone, according to numerous witnesses, all of whom know Andrew quite well. No one can ever know with absolute certainty whose actions killed Javier Sanchez that night. None of the witnesses are reliable, especially Andrew himself, who still doesn’t understand the ramifications of his actions or “stories.”
As opposed as the US~Observer is to plea bargaining, at this juncture, it would be in Andrew’s best interest to take a plea, get the help he obviously needs and have some semblance of a meaningful life, something Javier Sanchez no longer has the chance to do.
After an exhaustive investigation based on tips from our online publication of the original version of this article and contacts within Okanogan County government, we have conclusive evidence that Prosecutor Arian Noma has pursued justice in this case, while still taking into account Andrew Newman’s obvious disabilities. We commend Noma for acting in the public’s best interest while honoring his oath of office and Attorney Dan Connelly for acting in the best interest of his client.