Bail has been set at $1 million for a Benton County man suspected of killing a Lower Valley man this past Sunday.
Floyd Edward Koontz, 57, made a preliminary appearance in Yakima County Superior Court this past Monday, where he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 61-year-old Pedro Flores.
The incident happened in the 3000 block of Grandview Pavement Road near Mabton.
The Yakima County Sheriff's Office received a report of a stabbing at Flores' residence on Sunday. When deputies arrived they found Flores lying in his driveway with two stab wounds. He was treated at the scene and then transported to Sunnyside Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Yakima County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Keller said a witness at the scene said Koontz and Flores were both armed with knives while they were arguing in the driveway. He said the witness told both men to stop and then Flores collapsed.
Keller said Koontz was at another residence before he confronted Flores. Keller said witnesses there said Koontz told them, "I hate that son of a bitch. If Pete ends up dead, I did it."
Koontz was arrested a short time after the killing at his residence in Benton County. He was taken to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, where he was treated for minor wounds before being released.
A motive for the killing is unclear at this time, but Stew Graham, Chief of Detectives for the Yakima County Sheriff's Office, said a dispute over money might have been the cause.
Koontz is listed on the Benton County Sheriff's Office sex offender website as a level three sex offender. He was convicted of raping an 11-year-old female on May 9, 1995.
Koontz's address on the website was listed as being in the 36,000 block of District Line Road in Benton City.