King County prosecutors on Wednesday filed murder charges for two separate Renton homicides against a 14-year-old boy and indicated they will seek a hearing to have the cases moved from juvenile to adult court.
The boy, who was arrested Thursday evening at a Renton apartment 1,200 feet from where the second victim was killed Jan. 12, remains in juvenile detention, according to prosecutors.
He was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 29 shooting death of Marc Anthony Valladolid, 22, and premeditated first-degree murder, accused of killing Anthony Pace, 54, on Jan. 12, court records show. Both murder charges carry firearms enhancements and the 14-year-old, who is not legally allowed to possess guns, was also charged with two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Charging papers do not provide a clear motive for either homicide.
The Seattle Times is not naming the 14-year-old because the newspaper typically does not name juvenile criminal respondents unless they are charged as adults.
Under state law, 16- and 17-year-olds charged with serious violent offenses such as murder can have their cases automatically declined out of the juvenile system into adult or superior court. But for a younger teen to be tried as an adult, a discretionary decline hearing must be held, with a judge weighing eight factors, known as "Kent factors," after a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision, to determine whether the case remains in juvenile court or is transferred to adult court.
Juvenile jurisdiction ends on a respondent's 21st birthday. When a juvenile is instead tried and convicted as an adult, the trial judge has complete discretion in handing down a sentence, which typically includes a term of community supervision, and is not bound to follow standard sentencing guidelines in place for adult criminal defendants.
Renton police responded to a report of a shooting in the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store in the 4300 block of Northeast Fourth Street just before 7 p.m. Oct. 29 and found Valladolid on the ground between two parked cars. They determined he had been shot four times, say the charges against the 14-year-old. Valladolid died at the scene.
Police obtained video-surveillance footage that showed a woman, two girls and a boy arrive together at the Safeway around 6 p.m. and walk into the store. The boy, later identified as the 14-year-old, and his 13-year-old girlfriend were seen in the footage "motoring around the store on scooters" provided for people with mobility issues. Police identified the girlfriend's 34-year-old mother and 15-year-old sister as the other individuals in the footage.
The four were seen loading groceries into a Honda Odyssey, which was parked two spots from where Valladolid was seated in the driver's seat of his car.
The van was seen pulling out of its spot to leave, but then unexpectedly backed up to Valladolid's car and stopped, according to the charges. The 14-year-old, who was in the front passenger seat, was seen hanging out the window and yelling at Valladolid, asking what Valladolid was looking at and if he knew who the boy was, say the charges.
Valladolid was shot as he approached the van's passenger side. Two 9-mm shell casings were later found near his body.
The Honda, with the 34-year-old woman at the wheel, quickly drove from the scene, the charges say. Soon after the fatal shooting, the woman — who paid for the groceries with her bank card and Safeway loyalty card — purchased a black Chevrolet Suburban, according to the charges.
The Suburban was the vehicle police say was used to drive the 14-year-old boy to and from the second shooting scene on Jan. 12 outside the Circle Food Store at 2000 Benson Road South.
Police responded to a shooting at the store around 5:40 p.m. and found Pace lying on his back on the sidewalk, just outside the front entrance, charging papers say. Pace had been shot at least four times and died at the scene.
During the investigation, police learned Pace was a store regular who frequented the business almost daily. Minutes before the shooting, footage from the store's video cameras showed a black Suburban back into a parking spot to the north of the front doors.
The Suburban's driver, who police later identified as a 37-year-old man, went inside the store and purchased a T-shirt and cigars, the charges say. While he was in the store, the surveillance footage showed Pace arrive in his vehicle and park across from the Suburban.
As Pace walked into the store, the footage showed a boy, later identified as the 14-year-old, get out of the Suburban and walk to the store's entrance, where he loitered next to a garbage can, say the charges.
The 37-year-old man left the store and appeared in the footage to gesture and speak to the 14-year-old before getting into the driver's seat of the Suburban. Pace, meanwhile, made his purchases and was walking through the parking lot when he turned toward the 14-year-old, who apparently did something to draw his attention, say the charges. Pace approached the boy, stopping two or three feet away from him. The footage shows the boy pulled a gun from his pocket, immediately started firing and then got into the Suburban with a pistol in his hand, according to the charges.
The Suburban sped off.
The charges say police searched the 14-year-old's Instagram account and saw photos of him wearing the same distinctive clothes and shoes as the shooter was seen wearing during both homicides. Police also found several selfies of the boy posing with assault rifles and handguns, say the charges.
Renton police arrested the 14-year-old along with the 34-year-old woman and 37-year-old man on Jan. 13 at the Echo Mountain Apartments, just south of the Circle Food Store, charging papers say.
As of Wednesday, neither of the adults appeared to have been booked into jail. Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said Renton police have yet to refer a case to prosecutors involving the two adults.