Fourth suspect in Newport teen’s murder appears in court

SPOKANE, Wash. — The fourth suspect in the murder of Newport teenager Jason Fox appeared in court Tuesday.

Riley Hillestad is one of several men accused of killing Fox; the others are Matthew Raddatz-Freeman, Kevin Belding and Claude Le Roy Merritt II—the latter three appeared in court Monday. Hillestad refused to leave his jail cell for his appearance.

RELATED: Four men arrested in murder of Newport teen

Hillestad faces nine charges: first- and second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful disposal of human remains, failure to notify the coroner, unauthorized concealment of a body, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, tampering with physical evidence and making false statements to police.

The prosecutor said Hillestad has a criminal record, and deputies said he arrived at his interview with a ballistic vest and had several weapons on him. Court documents say Hillestad told detectives that he should have killed the property owner where Fox’s body was found.

All of this prompted the judge to set Hillestad’s bail at $1 million.

RELATED: Court docs: Newport teenager found buried with his hands tied behind his back