Trial postponed again for man accused of running over, killing 17-year-old field worker

YAKIMA — The trial for a man accused of running over and killing a 17-year-old field worker on the Yakama reservation has been postponed.

Joshua Cole Sampson’s trial was expected to begin Monday, but it has been continued, said federal prosecutor Benjamin Seal.

This is the fifth time the trial has been continued.

Sampson, 35, has been charged in U.S. District Court with involuntary manslaughter, which carries a penalty of up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sampson is accused of killing Petrona Mendez Ruiz as she worked in a field on June 1, 2019.

Ruiz was from Guatemala and working with her father.

Sampson is accused of driving onto the field and running her over while was weeding and planting small trees. She was crushed by the SUV. Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies said the driver reeked of alcohol.

Sampson was arrested at the scene.

A status hearing on his case has been scheduled for Sept. 29, Seal said.

Source: Wenatchee World