Teen accused in Yashanee Vaughn murder now faces assault charge

Teen accused in Yashanee Vaughn murder now faces assault charge
Parrish Bennette Jr. is seen in a Multnomah County booking photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - A teenager accused of killing a young girl in a high profile case that drew national attention is now charged with assaulting a corrections officer.

Officials say 17-year-old Parrish Bennette Jr. refused to go back to his cell Sunday night and then attacked a guard. The guard was not seriously hurt but the incident has put the young man in more trouble.

Bennette is accused of killing 14-year-old Yashanee Vaughn and is awaiting trial on murder charges.

The young girl disappeared in March 2011 and for several months no one knew where she was. Police had reason to believe she had met with foul play but their prime suspect, Parrish Bennette, who was 16 years old at the time, was not talking.

Bennette was the last person to see Vaughn alive and was indicted on murder charges early on in the investigation after detectives found evidence that pools of blood had soaked through the carpet in his bedroom. Isopropyl and bleach were found as well and fluid inside a vacuum in the home had traces of blood. A picture of the teenage boy holding a gun the day before Vaughn disappeared also surfaced.

Despite the mounting evidence against him, and pleas from Vaughn's family to tell them what happened to her, Bennette kept quiet.

Searches continued and the girl's family kept the case in the public eye by holding rallies, passing out missing person fliers and keeping Vaughn's name in the media. The girl's family and friends hoped to find her alive, even though deep in their hearts they felt something terrible had happened to her.

On July 15, 2011, their fears were confirmed when police found Vaughn's remains buried along a trail at Rocky Butte in Northeast Portland. Although no plea deal was reached, Bennette had finally opened up and told the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office where searchers should look.

Two weeks later, Vaughn was laid to rest at a memorial where family and friends gathered to celebrate her short life. And Bennette remained in jail, awaiting trial.

Case Timeline

  • March 19, 2011 - Yashanee Vaughn disappears after meeting Parrish Bennette at a Taco Bell on Northeast 82nd Avenue.
  • March 21, 2011 - Yashanee's mother, Shaquita Louis, files a missing persons report.
  • Sunday, March 27 - Detectives receive information that Bennette admitted to his father that his gun "went off" and hit Yashanee, and that he then disposed of the body. Bennette denies everything when questioned by detectives.
  • March 28, 2011 - Bennette's home and his grandparents' home are searched. Detectives notice the floor in Bennette's bedroom has been recently cleaned and there is a steam carpet cleaner there as well. Police notice a slight discoloration in the bedroom carpet and when they pull it up, they find blood soaked in the carpet pad through to the wooden sub floor. Blood is also found on the mattress, walls, near a desk, in the catch basin of the steam cleaner and on some clothing. DNA testing finds it is the blood of Yashanee Vaughn.
  • March 31, 2011 - Bennette is arrested.
  • April 8, 2011 - Bennette is indicted for murder.
  • June 6, 2011 - Detectives recover the gun they believe was used in the murder of Yashanee Vaughn.
  • June 24, 2011 - Police outline the evidence against Bennette at a bail hearing, including the blood found in his bedroom and a picture of Bennette holding a gun the day before Vaughn disappeared.
  • July 7, 2011 - Judge denies bail for Bennette.
  • July 15, 2011 - Police announce they have found human remains at Rocky Butte. The remains are not positively identified as those of Yashanee Vaughn but the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office says Bennette gave them information to lead them to Vaughn's body.
  • July 19, 2011 - Police confirm that the remains found at Rocky Butte are those of Yashanee Vaughn.
  • July 30, 2011 - Friends and family hold a memorial service for Yashanee Vaughn to lay her to rest.
  • October 29, 2011 - Bennette's trial begins.