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By Brandon Cline
Reporter 

Wishram man killed: Shot, then body dumped

 


A 40-year-old Wishram man was killed after being shot in the face and then pushed out of a vehicle in Wishram on June 30. Wishram resident Michael Matteson, 59, has been arrested on a second-degree murder charge as well as tampering with evidence.

Joseph Flock was found unresponsive and bleeding from his mouth in the middle of the road at the intersection of Boulder Drive and Ross Road in Wishram and was declared dead on-scene by paramedics, according to court documents. Law enforcement officials initially believed that Flock died due to being hit by a vehicle.

A witness observed Matteson cleaning his vehicle with bleach and a vacuum cleaner in his driveway at his home on the night of the accident. Upon arriving at Matteson’s home, Klickitat County Sheriff deputies found a bottle of bleach, a vacuum cleaner, and several pieces of glass that matched the glass at the crime scene in the driveway.

Deputies later found Matteson at another Wishram resident’s home, covered in blood with several red marks on his chest and back. Matteson was arrested for charges of vehicular homicide and hit and run. Matteson’s vehicle at the residence matched the rough description given by witnesses at the crime scene, and deputies observed that Matteson’s vehicle had a broken front passenger window, as well as a spent shell casing and a loaded magazine inside the vehicle.

On July 2, the State Medical Examiner determined that Flock had been shot in the face from close-range by a small caliber round. Deputies interviewed Matteson later that day, initially telling deputies that Flock refused to exit his car and then punched Matteson, causing him to blackout. Matteson then said that when he regained consciousness, Flock was still in the car, shivering, with the passenger-side window broken. Matteson then claimed that he pushed Flock out of his car and drove home.

After deputies told Matteson that the autopsy on Flock’s body revealed that he died from a gunshot wound, Matteson admitted that he never blacked out and shot Flock with his gun, a Taurus 9mm. Matteson said he then pushed Flock out of the car, and later used the bleach to clean off the blood from his car.

Bail has been set at $1 million, and Matteson is scheduled for arraignment at the Klickitat County Courthouse in Goldendale on July 17.

 

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