A Richland woman was robbed of more than $1,700 just hours after she returned home from a Toppenish casino with her gambling winnings.
Benton County prosecutors say the woman opened her front door thinking it was a friend outside.
A man and a woman then pushed their way into the apartment, punched her and put a pistol to her head before running off with the cash.
The suspects threatened to come back and kill her if she told others about the robbery or called the police, according to court documents.
So far, Stevie L. Trott is the only person charged in the Jan. 14 incident.
Trott, 25, has pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. Both felony charges include the aggravating allegation of deliberate cruelty.
Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn said the investigation is still developing so he can’t yet say if others will face charges.
Court documents show that the victim and a man drove to Legends Casino about 9 p.m. Jan. 13.
The associate — as described by prosecutors — gave $80 to the woman to gamble. She ended up winning $1,730, and later showed the Form W-2G to police to confirm the date and amount, documents said.
The man reportedly was rude to her throughout the night so they were not getting along. They left the casino at 12:30 a.m. and drove back to the Tri-Cities, where the woman was dropped off at her Richland apartment.
She then went to bed with her 7-year-old son, who had been home with a babysitter.
She was awakened at 5:30 a.m. by someone knocking on her bedroom window. The window is next to the front door, and typically is how close friends announce their arrival, court documents said.
After she opened the door, Trott allegedly pushed her way in and a man hiding down the stairwell rushed in with a pistol behind her, documents said.
The victim, who had been pushed onto the couch, told police she knew the man as Trott’s boyfriend. His nickname reportedly is “G-Money,” but she didn’t know his name.
The man who went to the casino with the victim is apparently a roommate of Trott’s. The two men also are known to be friends.
The robbery suspects told the victim she knew they were there for the money and demanded she hand it over, court documents said.
Trott grabbed the victim’s throat and punched her in the mouth, then helped G-Money bind the woman’s hands with a zip-tie in front of her and place tape over her mouth, documents said.
The victim reported that G-Money put the gun to her head and threatened her. She told her attackers that the money was in her jacket pocket and gave it to them.
In an attempt to prevent the woman from reporting the crime to anyone, the suspects took the battery out of her cellphone, disconnected a Wi-Fi-enabled phone from her router, and took both phones, court documents said.
Once the attackers left, the victim grabbed her son and fled to a friend’s home. That friend knows the man who went gambling the night before and accused him via text message of planning the robbery.
The man replied that he would wire $900 to the victim, then later sent a message directly to the victim that he would send her $900. The associate did not deny involvement, documents said.
The victim said she waited a day before going to Richland police because of the threats made.
During a search of the woman’s apartment, investigators found the tape that had been placed on her mouth and a cable that had been connected to the Wi-Fi phone.
Trott is in the Benton County jail on $150,000 bail.