United States Department of Justice
William D. Hyslop, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Clifton Frank Peter with two counts of first degree murder, one count of second degree murder, and two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Peter was arrested yesterday and his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Mary K. Dimke in federal court in Yakima, Washington, is scheduled for today.
According to allegations in the indictment, Peter shot and killed three people within the external boundaries of the Yakama Nation. As to each count of first degree murder, if convicted, Peter faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine and restitution obligations. As to the second degree murder count, if convicted, Peter faces a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, up to five years supervised release and restitution obligations. As to the two counts of discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, if convicted, each carries a penalty of ten years to life imprisonment, to run consecutive to any other sentence, up to five years of supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine.
William D. Hyslop said, “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is committed to pursuing those involved in violent crimes within the external boundaries of the Yakama Nation. The charges contained in the Indictment are merely allegations. Peter is presumed innocent, as is any defendant in a criminal case, until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Raymond Duda said, “There is no logical explanation that can be offered regarding the horrific acts allegedly perpetrated by Mr. Peter. The professionalism displayed by the investigators of this case should be commended and will hopefully result in justice for the victim's families.”
The charges contained in the indictment are the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Yakama Nation Police Department, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington State Patrol. The case is being prosecuted by Richard Burson and Tom Hanlon, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.