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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 1998
Benton County Judge Sets Sagastegui Execution Date for Oct. 13

KENNEWICK - August 17, 1998 - Jeremy Vargas Sagastegui today was scheduled to be executed Oct. 13 for the 1995 murders of three people in Benton County.

A death warrant signed this morning by Benton County Superior Court Judge Carolyn A. Brown sets the date of Sagastegui's execution, which will be carried out at the Washington State Penitentiary.

According to state law and the terms of the death warrant, Sagastegui, 27, will be put to death by lethal injection unless, by no later than Sept. 29, he elects hanging as the means of execution.

Sagastegui was sentenced to death for the November 1995 murders of 3-year-old Kievan Sarbacher, his mother, Melissa Sarbacher, and her friend, Lisa Vera-Acevado. Sagastegui sexually abused, beat, stabbed and then drowned Kievan, whom he was babysitting, before shooting his mother and her friend when they returned to Sarbacher's home in Finley, Benton County.

On Feb. 2, 1996, Sagastegui pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated first-degree murder. He chose not to be represented by an attorney at trial nor to appeal his convictions and death sentence. However, standby counsel was appointed to assist Sagastegui if he requested it.

The State Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence in April after conducting a review mandated by state law. In July, the court ordered the Superior Court to set an execution date.

Sagastegui would be the third person executed in Washington since the state's current capital-punishment law was enacted in 1981. Westley Allen Dodd was executed in 1993 and Charles Rodman Campbell in 1994.

For additional information, visit the Department of Corrections Web site.

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