July hearing set for two charged with shooting Dollar Store clerk

Published: Friday, April 18 2008 11:55 a.m. MDT

A preliminary hearing has been set for two suspects charged in the fatal shooting of a Family Dollar store manager last March.

Biu Benjamin Olive, 18 and Sarah Ataata, 19, appeared in 3rd District Court on Friday with their attorneys to waive their right for a speedy hearing in order to have their preliminary hearing set for July 14. If the two choose to move forward with the hearing, the prosecution is expected bring forward some of their evidence linking the two to the shooting, which rocked the Glendale area community.

Both are charged in connection with the shooting death of Wally Knapton during a robbery at the Family Dollar store in Glendale on March 12.

Olive is charged with aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies. He is also charged with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

Prosecutors claim Olive was the gunman. They say they could have sought the death penalty against him but for the fact that Olive was just a few days short of his 18th birthday when Knapton was shot and killed.

If convicted, Olive could face life in prison without parole.

Police suspect Ataata was the getaway driver. She is charged with murder and two counts of aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies.

A 13-year-old boy was also arrested and charged in connection to the robbery. His case is being handled in juvenile court.

The robbery sparked a strong reaction from members of the Glendale community, who described Knapton as a generous manager who made his store available for community-based events. Police say the robbery netted $180.


E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com

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