A look at the King County murder cases filed in 2021

The April 25 stabbing in Bothell was the third King County murder case this year involving a knife, and the 17th murder case charged in 2021 from recent events. All but two of those cases involved victims of color.

The April 25 stabbing death of a Bothell man was the 17th murder case charged in 2021 from recent attacks by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. That case was charged April 28 after an independent review of the investigation referred by Bothell Police.

Of those 17 cases, three were stabbings, one was a fatal arson and 12 of the murder cases involved guns.

In all but three of the murder cases involving guns, the defendants were prohibited from having the guns they used.

All but two of the victims in these 17 murder cases were people of color.

In order for a case to be charged, an investigation must be referred to our office from a law enforcement agency. There are several King County murder investigations that are ongoing.

The case filings below are based on referrals from law enforcement investigators, and the summaries below include details from investigators. Cases are reviewed independently by our office before each charging decision, and we are ethically bound to only bring cases that we believe can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.


Murder in the First Degree

The defendant is accused of being involved in the murder that happened Sept. 16, 2020, at Houghton Beach Park in Kirkland. The defendant is accused of setting up a deal with others to bring a stolen AM-15 assault rifle to the part, where at least eight shots were fired. A month before this case, the defendant was charged with an armed carjacking and released over our office’s objection. The defendant also was previously given a deferred disposition in a juvenile robbery case, which led to a conviction for first-degree theft.


Murder in the First Degree

This defendant is also accused of being involved in the murder that happened Sept. 16, 2020, at Houghton Beach Park in Kirkland. The victim in that case was killed after a setup to get an AM-15 assault rifle from him. This defendant was the last known person to be in possession of the AM-15 and in the days following the murder, police said he solicited multiple people to sell or trade the AM-15 for one or more handguns. The AM-15 could not be located.


Murder in the First Degree

This is the third defendant accused of being involved in the murder that happened Sept. 16, 2020, at Houghton Beach Park in Kirkland. About a half hour after that shooting scene, this defendant was recorded in the backseat of a co-defendant’s car posing with the stolen AM-15 assault rifle. Two days later, investigators said he was soliciting his co-defendant to commit an additional robbery to obtain .38 and .45 caliber handguns. More than two months later, he was still in possession of the .22 Ruger used in the Kirkland killing and he also was photographed with a revolver and a hand grenade. He has three prior juvenile convictions for attempting to get guns illegally, as well as a conviction for assault, malicious mischief and vehicle prowling.


Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the Second Degree

The defendant is accused of killing a man and shooting another man Aug. 30, 2020, in Renton. He shot one of his pistols in the air and fired the other at the victim, mortally wounding him. A separate 15-year-old who was hit by one of the defendant’s bullets. That 15-year-old was not armed and was not an intended target — he was simply sitting in the backseat of his friend’s car when he was randomly shot. Separately, Little also was charged with stealing a Seattle Police rifle from the back of a patrol car during May 30, 2020 riots. That case also is ongoing.


Murder in the Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree

The defendant shot the victim in his Kent apartment after the victim complained about the noise coming form the defendant’s upstairs apartment. At the time of the shooting, the defendant was out on bail on a separate Pierce County Superior Court case: charges domestic violence robbery, kidnapping, assault and theft of a firearm. He was ordered by a Pierce County judge to not have any weapons. The defendant’s criminal history includes a conviction for DUI and obstruction and multiple warrants.


Murder in the First Degree

The defendant is accused of shooting a 21-year-old woman in the head five times as she sat in the front passenger seat of a vehicle. The defendant then dragged the victim’s body from his vehicle to the edge of Lake Washington at Seward Park, stripped her nude and left her laying on the grass here she was found by a person going by. Shortly before the victim was discovered, the defendant was found asleep behind the wheel of his running vehicle in the middle of an intersection with his loaded 9 mm in the center console. He still had blood on his hands and on the passenger seat, door and window. The defendant also had nearly half a kilogram of suspected meth in his car. His criminal history includes a 2020 arrest in Texas for possession of more than 50 pounds of marijuana. Earlier in 2021, the defendant was arrested in Los Angeles for possessing drugs while armed with a gun. In that incident, he’s alleged to have collied with a parked vehicle while under the influence of drugs while having a gun on his lap. Police reported finding a “significant quantity” of suspected meth and Xanax in individually wrapped plastic baggies. The defendant was charged with felony harassment in 2018 in King County for making statements about shooting and killing his Seattle University classmates. In that case, two classmates heard the defendant say, “it would be easy to kill everyone.”


Murder in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree

The defendant is accused of stabbing to death a young woman and assaulting another after they were hanging out in a Kent apartment complex. After an argument and after he was denied sex by one, investigators said the defendant pointed a 9mm handgun at one of the victim’s head. After the young women left the apartment, the defendant came at them with a large kitchen knife in his right hand and stabbed one in the stomach. The other, who he tried to stab, called 911. He was taken into custody after a standoff with the Kent Police SWAT team. Police said the defendant stabbed the victim in the back as she was lying in a defenseless position. After she fell face down motionless, he again stabbed her in the back seconds later.


Murder in the Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

The defendant shot a man after getting upset in an argument about a cell phone. Police found the defendant in a stolen vehicle, and investigators said he admitted shooting the victim. The defendant also said he smoked meth before the shooting, which was done with a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson. The defendant told police he likes guns and steals things to support his drug habit. However, he’s prohibited from having guns because of a previous felony conviction.


Murder in the First Degree

The defendant set fire to his own residence in the middle of the night when multiple members of his family were asleep in their beds, including his mother, brothers, and his own son, who died from injuries caused by smoke from the fire. After starting the fire, the defendant walked away while his family tried to escape, and even kept walking as fire and police vehicles drove past him to the home with lights and sirens. The defendant has prior felony convictions for residential burglary, theft, and his misdemeanor conviction history includes domestic violence harassment and property destruction.


Murder in the First Degree

The defendant deliberately waited until his wife was driving home at the end of a long work before slitting the throat of her 8-year-old son. The boy called his mother choking, and she heard gurgling sounds. The defendant, who also cut himself, admitted to his wife that he slit the boy’s throat and said he would “see her in the afterlife.” Investigators said the defendant attempted no lifesaving measures as he watched the boy die the painful death.


Murder in the Second Degree

The defendant is charged with murder for the death of a teenager whose body was dumped in a North Seattle snowbank. The victim’s body was found buried in the snow with only his bare toes, nose and part of his chest visible. The medical examiner determined that he was shot in the head and had injuries to his hands and feet that were caused by an open flame. After the murder, the defendant then drove the victim’s car to work at an auto parts store. The victim’s body was not found until the following morning because of the snow. At the time of the murder, the defendant was out of custody having posted bond on two Class A felony charges out of Pierce County: promoting the commercial sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree trafficking (Pierce County Superior Court case 20–1–10610–3).


Murder in the Second Degree

Police believe this defendant also participated in the murder of a 19-year-old man who was found left in a North Seattle snowbank with a gunshot wound to the head. The defendant was seen in a Facebook video shortly before the shooting riding in a car pointing a black semi-automatic pistol at the camera. Investigators believe the victim was shot in the right temple while he was in the car. Police said the defendant participated in significant efforts to hide the victim’s body and to clean blood evidence from inside the car. The defendant has a sealed juvenile case from Snohomish County Juvenile Court.


Murder in the Second Degree; Drive-By Shooting; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree

The defendant is accused of fatally shooting a complete stranger in a road rage case. The defendant was ordered by the court five separate times to not possess a firearm yet did so anyway. Investigators said he had two guns including the one used to kill the victim, and one of those guns had ammunition made to penetrate body armor. Police said after the defendant killed the random victim on January 7, he continued to use his guns until he was arrested on February 5. That day, the defendant was charged with second-degree assault and unlawful gun possession for strangling another man while armed with a gun (King County Superior Court case 21–1–00283–1). That attack happened after the fatal shooting. Investigators said he committed those crimes while out of custody on bond for two violent offenses: a fatal hit-and-run case where he killed a 78-year-old man riding a bicycle and a first-degree robbery case where he used a gun to rob a store clerk. When the defendant committed the robbery, he was on federal probation for a gun conviction. His conviction history includes assault, unlawful transport of firearms, robbery, identity theft and residential burglary.


Murder in the Second Degree; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree

On March 1, the defendant armed himself with a .40 caliber firearm he was not legally allowed to possess, drove several blocks in search of an unidentified group of robbers, then shot a 17-year-old boy in the head while he was running from the defendant. He was left to die in the alleyway in Renton. The defendant was prohibited from having a handgun. He has prior felony convictions for assault and unlawful gun possession.


Murder in the Second Degree

The defendant came to an apartment complex parking area after his girlfriend called him. She was in an argument with the victim. After the defendant arrived, his girlfriend continued to argue with the victim and hurl racial slurs at him. The victim was walking away when he heard the girlfriend repat a racial slur. The victim walked towards her car and yelled for her not to say that. That’s when the defendant, for no known reason, shot at him three times. After the unarmed victim went down, the defendant walked towards him and shot four more times, killing him. A magazine holder containing one bullet was found in the defendant’s apartment, and that bullet matched the casings that were found in the parking lot.


Murder in the Second Degree; Assault in the First Degree; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree

On April 18, 2017, the defendant shot at a group of people at a Kent gas station. He killed his intended target and shot another man in the neck. The defendant fled to Oklahoma and then to Mexico. At the time of the murder and shooting of the second victim, the defendant had an active federal probation warrant and U.S. Marshals were actively trying to locate him in Mexico, where he remained undetected until being arrested in May 2020 when he was arrested by local authorities for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. In addition to this crime, the defendant has three convictions for unlawful gun possession, a federal conviction for firearms violations and twice had his federal probation revoked for violations of those terms. He also has juvenile convictions for arson and domestic violence assault.


Murder in the Second Degree

The defendant appeared to flip off the victim, another resident in his apartment building. When the victim came over to talk with him — a conversation which witnesses describe as relatively calm — the defendant suddenly pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim once in the heart. Immediately after stabbing the victim, the defendant ran to his apartment and claimed to his mother that he’d been attacked by an “anti-masker.” The defendant and the victim had no known prior interactions.

On March 15, 2021, The KCPAO also charged a second-degree murder case against a woman accused of killing her newborn baby in a North Seattle gas station. That case, which was charged after the advancement of DNA technology, is not included here because the death happened in November 1997. That case number is 21–1–00297–1.

These summaries, posted the morning of April 29, 2021, are not expected to be updated. Additional details on each case can be found through the King County Electronic Court Records System using the case numbers at the top of each summary.

A blog from King County’s elected Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg.