SPOKANE, Wash. --- Court documents from a brutal murder reveal details about what happened in the hours after an 8-year-old girl witnessed her father’s murder and waited for help for hours back in September 2016.
Thursday, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested John A. Radavich, 22, in the Spokane Valley and charged him with first degree murder in the death of Robert Tester, who was killed inside his Spangle home last year.
Tester’s 8-year-old daughter, according to court documents, was home at the time and was not hurt. She told investigators a man dressed in all black had stabbed her father using a knife and a sword.
She said, according to court documents, that she had gone to sleep at 8 p.m. and woke up to the sound of her father being attacked. She said after the man who attacked her father left, she tried to help her father by using his cell phone to call 911. She said she also tried to call her sister in Oregon and her grandmother in Rathdrum. She said she was unable to get in touch with anyone, according to court documents, and went back downstairs to bed. She finally got ahold of her grandmother at 7 a.m. and her grandmother immediately called 911.
During the investigation, detectives learned that Tester had a 17-year-old girlfriend whom he had assaulted the day before the murder. During the last week of 2016, detectives got a tip from a childhood friend of Radavich in Texas who said Radavich confessed to killing Tester during a phone call he had recorded. The tipster provided them with a copy of the call.
Court documents show Radavich alleged to his friend in the phone call that Bob Tester was assaulting and raping the 17-year-old girlfriend in front of his 8-year-old daughter, and was letting his meth dealer rape the girlfriend as well. According to the documents, Radavich told his friend he used his “knights sword” to kill Tester, and that he had disposed of it on Snoqualmie Pass, along with everything he wore at the time of the murder.
The 17-year-old girlfriend told investigators that Radavich did tell her he killed Tester, but she did not believe him, according to court documents. She said she had thought it was him repeating what he had heard on the news and he was trying to win her affections back.
Detectives found Radavich at an apartment complex in Spokane Valley and took him into custody Thursday. They said the investigation is still ongoing.
John A Radavich. First appearance pic.twitter.com/d5gijcVNZ1— Jeff Bollinger (@KREMJeff) January 6, 2017
A judge set Radavich's bond at $1 million on Friday, though it may be adjusted later.
Tester was the nephew of Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester.