A man who was spotted with another person potentially casing cars at Walla Walla’s La Quinta Inn & Suites pleaded guilty to one charge in Walla Walla County Superior Court on Friday, May 7.

Lathan T. Nagle, 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree taking of a vehicle without permission. In his statement of guilt, Nagle admitted to willingly riding in a car that he knew had been taken unlawfully.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Nagle and Crista D. Ansel, 35, of Clarkston were named in a Walla Walla police investigation that was triggered when staff members at La Quinta called police because they reportedly saw Ansel and Nagle looking into a car in the hotel’s parking lot.

Ansel pleaded not guilty on April 5, according to the Washington Courts database, but she also has pending cases in Garfield and Clark counties.

Ansel is alleged to also have had a set of shaved keys in her purse at the time of her Walla Walla arrest. She also reportedly was driving a car that was reported stolen out of Vancouver, Washington, according to court documents.

Nagle was originally charged with obstructing law enforcement and stolen vehicle possession, but the first charge was dropped and the second charge was amended in a plea deal with prosecutors.

Nagle said he’s homeless but was living with Ansel at the time of their arrest.

Jedidiah Maynes can be reached at jedidiahmaynes@wwub.com or 509-526-8318.

Jedidiah Maynes is a reporter for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin covering a variety of topics including local court cases. He enjoys making music and puns.