Yakima, Washington – Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Jordan Everett Stevens, age 31 of Wapato, Washington was sentenced by Chief District Judge Stanley A. Bastian for the 2019 murder of Alillia “Lala” Minthorn. Stevens was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Following today’s sentencing, U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “the execution and murder of this young indigenous woman was horrific. It is the obligation of law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office to seek justice for all victims and their family members. Not everyone who suffered a loss in this case will be able to find solace despite the lifetime of imprisonment that was handed down today, and our hearts go out to Ms. Minthorn’s family.”
According to court documents and evidence elicited at trial, on May 3, 2019, a family member reported that Ms. Minthorn was missing. She was last seen in the Toppenish area, getting into a car. Approximately two weeks later, an eyewitness informed the FBI that Stevens shot and killed Ms. Minthorn in the closed portion of the Yakama Nation Indian Reservation, north of Brownstown, Washington. The witness told investigators she and another woman were present when Stevens killed Ms. Minthorn. FBI Special Agents and Yakama Nation Police Department officers searched the area described by the witness; however, because the area was remote and vast, Ms. Minthorn’s body was not found at that time. On May 29, 2019, the witness led agents to Ms. Minthorn’s body. An autopsy later confirmed that Ms. Minthorn had been killed by a single gunshot to the head.
The trial of Jordan Stevens began on June 7, 2021, and the jury returned a guilty verdict on June 10, 2021. Stevens was found guilty of one count of First-Degree Murder and one count of Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence.
At today’s sentencing, Chief Judge Stanley Bastian, who presided over the jury trial, stated that Stevens made “the decision to execute Alillia Menthord – a decision that [he] has to live with and a decision that [he] will have to pay for.” In pronouncing Stevens’s sentence, Chief Judge Bastian then expressed his heartfelt sorrow to the family of the victim and explaining that Stevens “victimized and hurt an entire community.”
U.S. Attorney Waldref commended the efforts of the investigators and prosecutors who worked to bring justice to the victims of Stevens’s crimes. U.S. Attorney Waldref stated, “This sentence demonstrates that those who victimize members of our community will be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law. However, a lengthy sentence in this case cannot substitute for the tragic loss of the life of this young woman. As a result of today’s sentence, the Eastern District of Washington is safer and more secure. I am grateful for the dedication and perseverance of the FBI and the Yakama Nation Tribal Police, who worked closely with Assistant United States Attorneys Ben Seal and Rick Burson to see this case through.”
“Life in prison is not a sentence we see often” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “While no sentence will undue the crimes perpetrated by Mr. Stevens, it will prevent him from victimizing anyone on the Yakama Reservation again. I appreciate the work of our investigators and partners, who too often have to respond to scenes of violence like this.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Yakama Nation Tribal Police, Washington State Highway Patrol, the Klickitat County Sherriff’s Department, and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Ben Seal and Rick Burson, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.