- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) - A man accused of aiding the escape of the suspected shooter of a southwestern Washington deputy is set to change his plea to guilty.

Matthew Veatch’s pending plea would leave one person facing charges stemming from the shooting, which killed 29-year-old Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier on the night of April 13-14, The Daily News reported.

Veatch would be the second of three people to take a plea deal with prosecutors over charges of aiding Brian Butts‘ attempts at escaping. Police say Butts shot DeRosier, who was checking on a disabled motor home in Kalama. In a brief exchange of gunfire, police killed Butts on April 14 after a manhunt.

In court Tuesday, Veatch’s lawyer asked to strike the Feb. 18 trial and set a “change of plea” hearing for that day. Court documents refer to it as a guilty plea hearing.

Veatch has told officers that he was at his residence when he heard a gunshot and that Butts then arrived, according to police records. Police say Veatch told them he led Butts away through a forested area, even as Butts said he “shot a cop.”

Only Savannah Eastman still maintains her innocence. She is set for trial Feb. 25.

Ricky Roberts Jr., pleaded guilty to a reduced charge oe rendering criminal assistance in a Jauary8 deal with prosecutors Under the deal, Roberts Jr. must testify in Eastman’s trial. .

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