WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Two of six people accused of kidnapping and beating a woman over a drug debt this summer were sentenced Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Crystal Velazquez, 35, of Milton-Freewater, was charged in June with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree attempted robbery and unlawful imprisonment.

Gregorio Diaz, 22, also of Milton-Freewater, was charged in June with first-degree kidnapping, second-degree attempted robbery, unlawful imprisonment, possession of methamphetamine and second-degree unlawful firearm possession.

Both have entered into plea agreements with prosecutors.

Velazquez pleaded guilty Monday to attempted harassment and was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for 90 days served. Her sentence also included $250 in fines and fees, and no contact with the victim for two years.

Diaz pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment and was sentenced to 38 months for count one and 22 months for count two, running concurrently, with credit for 184 days.

Defense attorney Patricia Fulton noted Diaz had “taken responsibility for this crime” and thought he had one felony conviction in Washington. However, Walla Walla County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Gabriel Acosta said the man had several felony convictions in Umatilla County.

Diaz’s offender score was five, Judge John Lohrmann said in court, which was taken into consideration. His sentence included 18 months of community custody on count one, and 12 months on count two, to-be-determined restitution, $600 in fines and fees, and no contact with the victim until Dec. 2, 2029.

Velazquez, Diaz and four others were arrested in June and July after a woman told police she was confronted at gunpoint May 29 by Diaz and Chelsey Arriola-Morris, 34, of Walla Walla, near Arriola-Morris’ apartment in the 200 block of East Cherry Street.

The woman told police multiple people took turns beating and threatening her over three days for an alleged drug debt, records stated.

Arriola-Morris made a plea agreement in November, and her charges were amended to second-degree kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and meth possession.

Her sentence included 17½, 12 and 17½ months in prison on each count, respectively, and running concurrently, as well as concurrently with a drug case in Walla Walla; 18 months of community custody; $500 in fines and fees; to-be-determined restitution; substance abuse disorder evaluation; and no contact with the victim until Nov. 8, 2029.

The other three arrested in the case were Miguel A. Reyes Jr., Jazrale L. Ruston and Cody P. Ferguson.

Reyes Jr., 27, of Walla Walla, pleaded guilty in September to second-degree taking a vehicle without permission and driving under the influence in a deal that dismissed his kidnapping and attempted robbery charges. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Ruston, 19, of Walla Walla, was sentenced Nov. 4 to six months in jail plus fines, fees and other stipulations.

Ferguson, 34, of Walla Walla, was arrested about a month after the others, as he had fled the scene. His trial was scheduled for Dec. 17.


Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

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