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Local woman says ruse in armed robbery saved her life

Local woman says ruse in armed robbery saved her life

YAKIMA, Wash. -- One of the two men accused of breaking into a couple's mobile home in Yakima beating and robbing them, is on trial.

One of the victims, Kristen Fork said she had to do something to save herself and her then boyfriend Robert Miller who were being beaten and robbed on October 1, 2014.

"I didn't want to be another statistic in Yakima, unsolved murder," Fork said. "I didn't want my daughter to identify me at the morgue. I knew that I had to save Robbie and myself. I knew it was up to me."

Fork said two men broke into their home asking for money and threatening to kill them. She said she thought of a ruse to distract them and told one of the men there was money in a pitcher in a cabinet in the kitchen.

"I could hear him in the kitchen cupboard and then he started making noise, going through the cupboard and up to the top," she said. "When I heard that, my bindings I had them off and I jumped out the window."

Fork shared her story Tuesday in front of a judge and jury in a trial for a man accused of being one of her attackers, Richard Vasquez.

This is the second week for Vasquez's trial who is charged with robbery, assault, kidnapping and illegally possessing a gun. The other man involved is Samuel Crafton-Jones who took a plea deal.

Robert Miller was living with Fork at the home in a mobile park off Washington Avenue in October 2014. He said he recalls hearing a knock on the door early in the morning. He said he turned on his porch light to find a man he didn't recognize asking to use his hose to cool off his car radiator.

"He stood at the front door, I thought it was odd," Miller said. "There's a hose attached to the house. Something was just out of place."

Miller said he knew something was wrong so he closed the door. A few minutes later, he said two men barged in waving a gun and asking for money, that's when Miller said the threats and assault began.

Fork said she doesn't think Miller or herself would be alive today if she didn't try to escape.

She said once she got out the window the two men quickly came out after her and started beating her with a gun. But one of her neighbors saw what happening and the men ran off.

Vasquez and Crafton-Jones were arrested in Union Gap shortly after the attack.

Vasquez's trial continues and it is expected to wrap up by the end of the week.

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