PENDLETON - Twelve family members of Alfonso Ibarra-Varella sat in the benches in Courtroom No. 3 where Circuit Court Judge Garry Reynolds arraigned the three suspects in the murder case.
In the early hours of last Sunday morning, Ibarra-Varella was stabbed during an apparent strong-arm robbery. He was transported to St. Anthony Hospital where he later died.
District Attorney Dean Gushwa presented evidence to a grand jury earlier this week and it returned an indictment alleging the same charges the suspects were arraigned on earlier this week. Gushwa said the second arraignment will supersede the first.
Martin Luther Dean Daniels, 24, and Erin Rachelle Fragua, 29, each were arraigned on one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder and one count of first-degree burglary.
Joanne Kuulani Saffery was arraigned on two counts of murder and one count of first-degree robbery.
Reynolds set plea hearings during the first part of August for all three defendants.
After court proceedings, a few of the family members of Ibarra-Varella took an opportunity to speak with the EO about recent events.
Family traveled from Mexico and California over the past week. They said Ibarra-Varella and his brother, Sergio, had been in Pendleton working for the railroad when Ibarra-Varella was killed.
Ibarra-Varella's wife, Rosa Lopez, traveled up from Mexico after her husband died. She left their two children at home. She and Ibarra-Varella's mother plan to take his body back to Mexico to be buried.
Lucy Reyes-Hoberock, Ibarra-Varella's niece, interpreted for Lopez.
"I'm devastated for what they did to my husband and the way they acted," she said. "I hope the law will punish them fairly."
Speaking for the family, Reyes-Hoberock described Ibarra-Varella as a good man and a family man.
"He never would harm anyone," she said. "He always looked out for his family."
"He never got into trouble with the law, either," said Magdalena Reyes, Ibarra-Varella's cousin.