UPDATE: Another shooting in White Center

July 5th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

1:10 AM: From radio communication: King County deputies are investigating a shooting reported to have happened ear 4th SW and SW 106th. The victim is at the hospital and his injuries are not believed, so far, to be life-threatening. That’s all we’ve heard so far.

10:10 PM: We followed up with KCSO’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott, who tells us tonight:

On 7/5/19 at 12:45 AM, near the 10600 block of 4th Ave SW, a male was shot by a suspect in a vehicle who drove by a house. The male was shot on his side. He had a friend drive him to Highline Hospital prior to Police arrival at the scene. The victim was then transported to HMC; his injuries were not life threatening. People on scene were not very cooperative. This case is open and being followed up by Major Crimes.

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4TH OF JULY: Extra fireworks enforcement

July 3rd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Holidays, King County Sheriff's Office, Safety, White Center news 4 Comments »

From the King County Sheriff’s Office:

King County’s unincorporated communities will get assistance in keeping the Fourth of July holiday safe, with a $25,000 boost in Sheriff funding for increased patrols. Metropolitan King County Councilmembers Joe McDermott, Larry Gossett, and Reagan Dunn announced that funds for the King County Sheriff’s Office were prioritized in the King County Budget. These patrols will be on the lookout for illegal fireworks usage during the Fourth of July holiday.

“With growing concerns over public safety, these funds for the Sheriff are intended to ensure a safe 4th of July celebration for everyone,” said McDermott.

“It is important that residents of our unincorporated areas can celebrate our Independence Day, but do it in a safe and legal manner,” said Gossett. “These increased patrols will go a long way to ensure that.”

$25,000 was prioritized to cover 300 hours of extra emphasis which will be split between the three sheriff precincts; Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest King County. The intent of this action is to ensure deputies can better respond to 911 calls made in response to illegal fireworks.

“My first priority as folks celebrate Independence Day is to help ensure the safety of unincorporated residents,” said Dunn. “I worked hard with my colleagues to get the additional funding that the Sheriff’s Office needed in order to provide a heavier police presence leading up to and on the Fourth.”

“The additional funding that we received from the King County Council is being used to proactively respond to illegal firework calls,” said Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. “We want everyone to have a safe 4th of July.”

In unincorporated King County, fireworks may only be discharged on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight. Residents are encouraged to act responsibly when using fireworks. Examples of legal fireworks include cone fountains, smoke devices, mines/shells/cakes, wheels, parachutes, roman candles, ground spinners, cylindrical fountains, sparklers, and poppers.

There are a number of free fireworks shows located around King County. The cities of Bellevue, Auburn, Carnation, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Kenmore, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Mountlake Terrace, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle, and Tukwila are all hosting public fireworks displays on July 4th. (Here’s a list.)

For more information about how to use fireworks safely and legally, go here.

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FOLLOWUP: Sheriff’s plan after 2 North Highline shootings in 2 days

June 24th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 8 Comments »

(WCN photo from Sunday)

From the King County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon:

After a series of shootings over the weekend, the Sheriff’s Office wants to assure our White Center residents and business owners that public safety is our top priority and we are taking action to combat violent crime in the area.

King County Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht said, “We are aware that violent crime is trending up. We will be adding deputies for increased emphasis patrols targeting crimes of violence.”

“The patrols will be random and at different times of the day to increase visibility in areas where violent crime is likely to occur,” said Sheriff Johanknecht.

The two shootings this weekend are not related, and so far there is no indication either is gang-related. Here is an update on each shooting:

Outside Hookah Lounge on 17th Avenue SW

On Sunday Morning, 6/23/2019 at 5:30 AM, a 911 call came in with someone hearing shots in the area of SW Roxbury/ 17 AVE SW. A deputy responded but did not hear or see anything initially. After checking for about 30 minutes, he cleared the call.

At 6:13 AM, three males showed up at Harborview Medical Center, each with gunshot wounds. Just before 7 AM, it was determined that this incident had occurred at the 9800 BLK 17 AVE SW. Deputies arrived on scene and located numerous shell casings. King County Major Crimes responded to the scene and located over 40 shell casings. Detectives believe some type of disturbance occurred outside of an after-hours club located in the alley between 16 AVE SW and 17 AVE SW. The disturbance led to a shooting between multiple people. A 28-year-old male was shot in the leg and was treated and released from the hospital. A 30-year-old male remains in critical condition, and a 29-year-old male remains in serious condition. Major Crimes continues to investigate.

1st Avenue SW Shooting

Today, Monday 6/24/2019 at 7:55 AM, a 27-year-old male caller reported he had just been shot near his house at 10600 BLK 1 AVE SW. The male suspect, known to the victim, fled the scene. King County Medics treated the victim on scene for a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The medics transported him to Harborview Hospital; his condition was listed as serious. The victim was not very cooperative with Deputies about what had occurred. At this time it is unknown what led up to the shooting, but this case remains under investigation.

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UPDATE: Top Hat shooting investigation

June 24th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Top Hat, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Top Hat shooting investigation

8:04 AM: From radio communication: Deputies are on the scene where a man is reported to have been shot at or near a house on SW 106th between 1st/1st SW. They’ve reported finding a shell casing. No word yet on the victim’s condition.

10:58 AM: KCSO says the victim’s injuries are not life-threatening. No suspect information yet.

5:22 PM: More followup info is here.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Mini-mart robbery suspect held on $20,000 bail

May 28th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to the tipster who sent that photo of deputies outside the 16th/107th mini-mart on Monday. The scene was clear by the time we got there but we obtained followup information today from King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. He says they arrested a 31-year-old woman who went into the store before 1 pm Monday:

She stole an 18 pack of beer, and went out to the parking lot. The owner went outside to get the beer back and the female punched him in the face knocking him to the ground. The clerk went back inside and called 911; the female followed so he locked the door with the female inside as she started grabbing more items. Prior to the Police arriving, the suspect kicked the door, breaking the glass and escaped outside. Once the Police arrived they located the female outside; after a bit of a struggle they were able to take the female into custody. She was booked into King County Jail for investigation of Robbery.

We just checked the King County Jail register; the suspect remains in custody, bail set at $20,000

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Marijuana and more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

May 9th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news 6 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

A long-hot topic was discussed relatively calmly at this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, held May 2nd at NH Fire District HQ.

MARIJUANA: Jim Chan and Warren Clauss from the county came to talk about the new report (which you can see here or embedded below).

New sub-area planner Jay Hill was in the audience as were planner David Goodman and external-relations manager David Dow – a White Center resident – from the Department of Local Services. The staffer who put together the report now works for the county council, which Chan said declined the request for his attendance.

To date, the council hasn’t taken any action on the report, Chan said. The report said that no further zone areas need to be added for marijuana activity. But it acknowledged the inequitable distribution of marijuana businesses and recommended a cap. The subarea plan for West Hill recommends an even lower cap – two. Existing businesses would be grandfathered, though.

However, NHUAC president Liz Giba wondered, isn’t it unlikely that any of the existing stores – six in unincorpoated NH -are going to close? Clauss acknowledged, that’s true, their sales are all doing well. He thinks more favorable conditions elsewhere might ultimately pull them away. Chan said the Legislature likely didn’t expect that some communities would ban marijuana, and that has led to some of the inequitable distribution. But wouldn’t limiting sales in this area add to the marginalization of disadvantaged communities who had been disproportionately prosecuted pre-legalization? asked Aaron Garcia from the White Center Community Development Association. Good question, said Chan. Garcia also wondered about marijuana businesses seeking to expand the types of merchandise they offer. There are strict limits, he was told.

The report addressed a variety of types of data, but some of the sample sizes were too small to “make accurate conclusions,” Clauss noted.

As for where the tax dollars go, there is an inequity but it’s a state issue, the county reps noted – the county only gets back $2 million. That is split fairly evenly between public health and public safety. Giba wondered if some of the money could be funneled back to “keeping things clean” – the streets, for example.

The marijuana businesses aren’t any more of a crime magnet than other types of businesses, KCSO Deputy Bill Kennamer noted when the talk turned to that issue. The report looks at those stats, added Clauss.

Would grandfathering allow for example one family member to pass to another? Chan didn’t know, but another rep present didn’t think so.

So the bottom line is that to change things would require putting pressure on state legislators? Yes, was the reply. But in terms of the county, watch for announcements of sub-area-plan meetings.

Want to see the report? If you can’t download it, you can request it from asklocalservices@kingcounty.gov

SIDE NOTE: Before the county reps left, an attendee brought up a loud party along 17th SW last weekend. Deputy Kennamer said noise complaints are becoming more common and he’s still figuring out how to address it.

CRIME UPDATE: The deputy had his own spotlight shortly thereafter. In crime trends – burglaries are down, auto thefts are up. “We’re getting a lot of cars stolen that are then used in crimes of violence.” One-third of the 100 Part I crimes – auto thefts. All the violent crimes have been solved quickly.

Do we know why the burglar who was shot and killed by a White Center resident chose that house? Kennamer said, no, but it’s worth noting that there’s a “problem house” on the other side of the street. They’re still not 100 percent certain about whether someone else was involved; that’s pending blood analysis.

Regarding marijuana businesses, as discussed earlier in the meeting, “none are any worse” – Nimbin’s had a few drive-through burglaries, Star had a shooting, but otherwise he said they were no more of a draw for crime than liquor stores.

A few other notes: One of the recent gunfire incidents in downtown WC had 45 rounds fired.

Got a nuisance house? Work with code enforcement.

One attendee pointed out that the businesses on the west side of 17th near 98th had suffered burglaries and theft. It might not have been reported to KCSO yet; Deputy Kennamer was asked to stop by and check on them.

Asked about emphasis patrols, he mentioned WC and Burien are having ongoing Thursday-Friday-Saturday overtime-funded patrols along the 16th/Ambaum corridor.

Despite the trouble spots, WC is far better than it was, say, 20 years ago, Kennamer reiterated.

WATER DISTRICT MERGER: Water District 45 is merging into WD 20 as a result of the recent election, commissioner Russ Pritchard reminded everyone. This means lower bills for District 45’s former customers. Involved are 10,415 service connections and 1,500 hydrants serving about 45,000 residents, he said. The old District 45 HQ will be sold; an appraiser just came out. So it’s not vacant pre-sale, the Highline Bears baseball team is temporarily headquartered there.

14th/120th has a “secret” underground reservoir, holding about 8 million gallons, he also noted, and now it’s part of District 20, which is headquartered at 1st S. and 126th.

HIGHLINE BEARS: GM Justin Moser spoke to NHUAC, opening by recalling baseball’s heyday in the community, and saying they want to bring “entertainment and fun” to the community. Ticket prices are no higher than $8. Opening night is June 1st, 7 pm, and County Councilmember Joe McDermott will throw out the first pitch. The team has 27 home games and will even have a “Christmas in July” night in which the players will wear ugly sweaters and throw out a first snowball instead of a first pitch. Their players, who come from college baseball, will be giving back to local communities via street cleanups and other volunteer activities.

COALITION FOR DRUG-FREE YOUTH: Rudy Garza spoke about the event coming up tonight (May 9th) – here’s the official invitation. Speakers will include Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta and State Senator Joe Nguyen.

LIBRARY UPDATE: KCLS’s Angie Benedetti said, “There’s nothing I like better than opening a meeeting with good news.” That news – Boulevard Park Library is reopening May 18th, with a 9:30 am ribbon-cutting ceremony. She shared the branch’s history going back more than three quarters of a century, when it was one room with a little over 500 books. She said it retains its classic architectural charms but has new rooms and a piece of art by Barbara Earl Thomas, glass walls telling the story “The Secret Reader.” Benedetti also shared some recent anecdotes including a “Box Drive-In” a week ago in which 100 little kids made cars out of boxes and got to watch a movie. NHUAC president Giba recalled that there was a time when the community was in danger of losing the library.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Wendell Davis noted that the White Center Warriors wrestling team, which meets at Chief Sealth IHS, has a world champion – 17-year-old Dustin Camacho. ….On May 24th, New Start High School Key Club wll have a car wash at the school, and at a TBA date in June, the Evergreen High School Key Club will have one too, said Aaron Garcia … 6/15, an Art Walk will coincide with the first-ever White Center Pride event.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets 7 pm first Thursdays most months at the NH Fire District HQ.

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More drive-by gunfire on 16th SW in White Center

April 22nd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 3 Comments »

Deputies are investigating drive-by gunfire for the second time in 3 days on 16th SW in White Center. This time, it happened closer to SW 100th; investigators are parked further north in our photo because they were checking cameras on businesses further north, as the vehicle from which the shots were fired – believed to be a “black car” – was northbound. No injuries reported, and no damage found as of when we talked to investigators, who said they had no indication whether it was or was not related to the gunfire on Saturday.

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UPDATE: Deadly shooting in White Center

April 22nd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

11:18 AM: We’re awaiting a King County Sheriff’s Office news release about the deadly shooting widely covered by regional media very early this morning. Early information indicated that a man woke up before 3 am in the 9800 block of 13th Avenue SW and discovered an intruder; he shot and killed the persoo. Deputies used a K9 team to search for another possible suspect but didn’t find anyone. We’ll add the KCSO news release once it’s in.

3:57 PM: The news release from KCSO has just arrived:

Early this morning, 04/22/2019 about 2:40 AM near the 9800 block of 13th Ave. SW, White Center, a homeowner who was home alone woke to the sound of a sound of a window shattering in the kitchen area of his house and a short time later footsteps inside his house. The 35 year old homeowner immediately called 911 and armed himself with a handgun. The homeowner hid in his closet while waiting for Deputies to arrive. Prior to Deputies arriving on-scene, the 29 year old suspect opened the bedroom door and was shot by the homeowner. The suspect died at the scene. There may have been a second suspect, but so far the investigation has not uncovered any evidence of the second suspect.

King County Major Crimes Detectives continue to investigate.

ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: The man who was killed is identified as Joseph Anderson, cause of death described as “multiple gunshot wounds.”

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Downtown gunfire

April 20th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 9 Comments »

(WCN photos)

3:12 PM: Thanks for the tips about gunfire in downtown White Center along 16th SW south of SW 98th. We went over to check and found deputies investigating what they said was bullet damage to that vehicle. No injuries reported. The gunfire is reported to have come from another vehicle but they didn’t have a description to share, so we have a followup inquiry out seeking more info when available.

3:27 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott says “multiple” casings were found and that what happened here was a case of “two vehicles fired at each other, missing. A minivan traveling northbound unrelated was hit; thankfully none of the occupants were hit or injured.”

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$750,000 bail for rape suspect

April 4th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on $750,000 bail for rape suspect

A judge set bail at $750,000 today for the man suspected of raping a woman last December in a vehicle in the 11400 block of 5th Avenue S. The King County Sheriff’s Office said the woman had gotten into the vehicle in Ballard believing it was the ride-share vehicle she had summoned. Video disseminated earlier this week led to the 34-year-old man’s arrest.

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FOLLOWUP: Suspect charged, sought in stabbing that preceded White Center crash

March 30th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Suspect charged, sought in stabbing that preceded White Center crash

(WCN photo, March 20th)

A week and a half ago, we reported on that White Center crash, with a stabbing victim found in the wrecked car. Today, the King County Sheriff’s Office reports a suspect has been identified and charged – and they need your help finding him:

On 3/20/2019 at about 2:25 PM, a 55 year old man was in a minor vehicle collision with a fence and pole at the 1700 block of SW 98th in White Center. When Deputies arrived, they found the victim had been stabbed multiple times and his throat cut. The victim was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. The victim survived, but is still recovering.

The suspect in this attack has been identified by King County Major Crimes Detectives as Daniel Varela AKA “Capone,” a 42 year old man listed at 5’9 and 175 pounds.

Varela has been charged by the King County Prosecutor’s Office with 1 count of Assault 1. A felony warrant has been issued for Varela; the bail amount is 1 million dollars.

If you know of Varela’s location please call 911. Do not attempt to contact him; he is considered armed and dangerous.

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Stabbing investigation near 24th and 112th

March 25th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 4 Comments »

Thanks for the tips about a police search that included presence at 26th and Roxbury. We’ve learned from the King County Sheriff’s Office that a man was stabbed near 24th Place and SW 112th. The victim was being taken to Harborview Medical Center. The investigation stretched to 26th and Roxbury because a vehicle there was somehow linked to the suspect. That’s all we know so far but we’ll be following up.

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Crash, stabbing investigation in White Center

March 20th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 16 Comments »

(WCN photo)

Thanks for the tips. The big King County Sheriff’s Office response near 17th/98th is for a complicated crime scene – a car crashed and a man with stab wounds was found inside. He has been rushed to Harborview. Deputies don’t know who attacked him but they believe it happened in the course of a robbery. The victim is reported to be in stable condition.

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Suspect in custody after White Center arsons

March 20th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 3 Comments »

On Tuesday afternoon, two readers reported being on Metro buses when announcements were made that they were rerouting because of “an active arsonist.” KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott tells WCN that “one male is in custody on multiple counts of arson and reckless burning” after “several fires set at bus stops and three businesses in White Center.” No further details on the case but we’ll be checking on the suspect’s status.

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UPDATE: Why 16th SW was closed at SW 107th this morning

March 20th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 3 Comments »

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY REPORT: A bizarre and tragic incident led to the closure of 16th SW at SW 107th for a while this morning. The scene was clear before we heard about it but here’s how King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott answered our followup inquiry:

Suicide attempt, 10700 block 16 Avenue SW. Male poured gasoline on himself and lit himself on fire. A Deputy saw it and used his fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire. The male was transported to (Harborview Medical Center) in very critical condition.

We always share this in reports mentioning suicide: If you or someone you know is considering self-harm, the Crisis Connections hotline is available 24/7 at 866-427-4747.

ADDED THURSDAY: The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says the 30-year-old man died, from burns over 92 percent of his body.

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UPDATE: Child seriously hurt by driver in White Center, expected to recover

March 18th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Child seriously hurt by driver in White Center, expected to recover

8:12 PM: Just in from King County Sheriff’s Office via Twitter: “Car vs child accident at SW 110/ 16 AVE SW in White Center. 12 year old child being transport(ed) to HMC by @KingCoMedicOne with serious injuries. KCSO Detectives responding to the scene. Road will be closed for several hours for investigation.” We’re on our way to the scene.

8:40 PM: NB 16th is actually open but the center and SB lanes are blocked. Detectives say they’ll be here another hour or so.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: Finally got some additional info from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. The victim suffered broken bones but is expected to recover fully. He is believed to have “run into traffic” before being hit; Sgt. Abbott adds, “The driver was cooperative and remained on scene. Alcohol and drugs were not involved.”

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2 to hospital after Boulevard Park-area collision

March 14th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Boulevard Park, King County Sheriff's Office, Traffic, White Center news Comments Off on 2 to hospital after Boulevard Park-area collision

That photo is from the King County Sheriff’s Office, which reports via Twitter: “Deputies on scene of a collision involving two vehicles and a semi truck at S. 96 Ave./ 8 Ave. S in Boulevard Park area, Unincorporated King County. 2 patients being transported by medics to HMC in critical condition. The road will be closed during the investigation.”

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MISSING: Have you seen ‘Pepe’?

March 7th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on MISSING: Have you seen ‘Pepe’?

The King County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help finding a man last seen in White Center:

Michael Pepion, “Pepe,” age 42, was last seen on October 18, 2018 near the 9600 block of 16 Ave. SW in White Center. From there, he allegedly rode with another person to the Tahuya State Forest area, near Belfair, to the quad trails. Michael has not been seen nor heard from since, which is concerning to Detectives.

King County Major Crimes Detectives are asking for anyone that has seen Michael or know his whereabouts to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206/296-3311. The circumstances regarding his disappearance are concerning to Detectives.

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Why the Guardian One helicopter is over White Center

March 2nd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks for the text (206-293-6302 any time). Guardian One confirms via Twitter that it’s the helicopter you’re seeing/hearing over White Center. Flight tracking shows it’s been focused in the southwest White Center/northwest Burien area. G1’s tweet says King County Sheriff’s Deputies are looking for a robbery suspect. We’re monitoring the search via law-enforcement radio but have not yet heard details of the incident. We’ll update if we find out anything more; let us know if/where you’re seeing deputies on the ground. (added) Radio discussion indicates the ground search has been centering on 14th/116th.

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FOLLOWUP: White Center murder suspect arrested and jailed; bail set at $2 million

March 1st, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: White Center murder suspect arrested and jailed; bail set at $2 million

Just announced by the King County Sheriff’s Office:

It’s been almost three months since KCSO announced Roberts, 24, was being sought in connection with the shooting death of 26-year-old Ricardo Villa Senor in November. According to the jail register, Roberts is charged with first-degree murder and his bail is set at $2 million.

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