A second Hermiston man is on the hook for the 2018 shooting death of Erik Navarrete.
Vincent Wesley David Shermantine, 29, faced charges Friday afternoon of murder, first-degree robbery, felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon. District Attorney Dan Primus said Shermantine’s arraignment was Friday at 1:15 p.m. in Hermiston.
According to the indictment, Shermantine and co-defendant David Edgar Sommerville, 19, also of Hermiston, robbed Navarrete at gunpoint on June 4, 2018, and Sommerville in the course of the crime shot and killed Navarrete.
Hermiston police on Thursday identified Sommerville as a suspect. Shermantine and Sommerville have been in the jail since late March on charges unrelated to the homicide. Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston said investigators identified the pair as suspects before the arrests but had to wait for the analysis of some evidence. He also said “there is a family relation” between Shermantine and Navarrete.
Sommerville faces charges of first-degree robbery, unlawful use of a weapon, murder and aggravated murder in Navarrete’s death. Aggravated murder is the only crime in Oregon that carries the threat of the death penalty.
The governor’s office in 2011 placed a moratorium on executions, but district attorneys sill have to consider capital punishment. Umatilla County has not had an aggravated murder case since 2015. The seriousness of the charge requires lawyers with the expertise to handle death penalty cases.
The court appointed two Portland-area lawyers to represent Sommerville: Benjamin Kim and Steve Lindsey. They defended Edwin Lara, 31, who in January 2018 pleaded guilty to aggravated murder for the 2016 killing of 23-year-old Kaylee Sawyer of Bend. Lara is serving a life sentence at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, Pendleton.
Sommerville’s attorneys filed a request for the court to order the district attorney’s office to allow inspections of evidence and provide copies of police reports, recordings, photographs and more. Primus said his office has set a meeting with Kim and Lindsey.