Gilbert teen charged with manslaughter in hip-hop artist's death

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by Alicia E. Barrón and Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on September 12, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 13 at 5:42 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. - A crash in Tempe early Saturday morning claimed two lives, including an up-and-coming Valley DJ and singer who had just begun a nationwide tour.

Abay Lattin was part of the group Silver Medallion that started here in the Valley a few years ago.

The hip-hop group was back in the state to kick off its second tour in what was going to help launch them into the international spotlight.

Tempe police say 17-year-old Kathryn Elizabeth Hetrick of Gilbert, who officials believe might have been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, was leaving the Quadrangles apartment complex at approximately 3:15 a.m. Saturday when her Ford Expedition slammed into a white Chevrolet Caprice heading eastbound. Lattin was the passenger in that car.

Police say that about a minute later, a teen on a motorcycle crashed into both of the vehicles and was pronounced dead. He has been identified as Matthew West, 19, of Glendale.

West was a pre-med student at Arizona State University and very involved in his church.

Lattin's band mate, Oren Shauble, says the group decided to call their tour "The Stars Have Been Waiting.” He says that looking back that name was perfect. “I'm going to do my best to keep our music and his vision out there and luckily he was a musician and if you make things that touch people, you're never really going to die.”

As far as what happens to the group now, Shauble says the music will continue. He hosted a tribute concert Sunday night at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale.

Hetrick is being investigated for possible DUI. She is currently facing charges of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated assault.

The driver of the Caprice and the passenger in the Ford Expedition were transported to local hospitals with non life-threatening injuries.

 

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