Authorities in Washington issued a no-bail arrest warrant earlier this month for a man wanted in connection with the May 2016 homicide of a reputed drug dealer.
The 32-year-old suspect and the victim, 29, were having dinner together in a Kirkland home about 20 minutes northeast of Seattle when, police said, the suspect shot the man he thought was an informant in a federal drug case. The victim also owed the suspected shooter money, police said.
The suspect, from Kent south of Seattle, purportedly shot the victim twice in the head and once in the shoulder at close range. The victim was taken to a Seattle hospital where he died. The suspect is wanted on a first-degree murder charge. Police say the victim sold heroin and meth he obtained from the suspect, who later bragged about killing the victim.
Before the warrant was issued in the homicide, the suspect already had been wanted on a warrant since July for failure to appear at his arraignment on unrelated felony domestic-violence charges.
A person is guilty of murder in the first degree if he or she commits the killing with premeditation. An indication of premeditation is when “an individual contemplates, for any length of time, undertaking an activity and then subsequently takes the action.” However, under the Revised Code of Washington, “the premeditation required in order to support a conviction of the crime of murder in the first degree must involve more than a moment in point of time.”
In addition to the condition of premeditation, a person is guilty of murder in the first degree if he or she engages in conduct that creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death of a person under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life. A person also is guilty of murder in the first degree if the death is caused when the person commits or attempts to commit the crime of robbery, rape, arson or kidnaping in the first or second degree, or burglary in the first degree.
Murder in the first degree is a Class A felony punishable by up to life in prison.
The primary difference between first-degree murder and murder in the second degree is premeditation. To qualify for second degree, the person who caused the death must be found to have done so without premeditation. And, if the death occurred during the commission of another crime, the other offense must be of a less serious nature than qualifies as murder in the first degree.
Regardless of the circumstances, everyone charged with a criminal act deserves the best defense. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.