A second teen has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Wesley D. Gennings in Federal Way. King County prosecutors say they will seek to have the 14-year-old suspect tried as an adult.
A 14-year-old Tacoma boy was charged Wednesday in King County Juvenile Court with first-degree murder with a firearm in connection with the fatal shooting of a teenage boy in the parking lot of a Federal Way Taco Bell.
Prosecutors have already requested what is known as a “decline hearing” and will ask a judge to transfer the case to King County Superior Court so the 14-year-old can be tried as an adult, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for early March.
Sixteen-year-old Michael Rogers is already facing prosecution as an adult after he was charged in Superior Court on Tuesday with first-degree murder with a firearm and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of Wesley D. Gennings.
Under state law, 16- and 17-year-olds accused of committing serious, violent crimes can automatically be charged as adults, while a judge must decide if younger teens should face prosecution as juveniles or as adults.
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The Seattle Times does not typically name juvenile defendants unless they are charged as adults.
Gennings was shot once in the back of the head as he sat in the driver’s seat of his car on Feb. 13. Police and prosecutors say he had picked up the two suspects and drove to the Taco Bell to sell them marijuana, but was robbed and killed instead.
Rogers was arrested at Thomas Jefferson High School last Thursday, and the 14-year-old turned himself in Sunday.
Staff members at the younger teen’s school later spoke with police. Though the school isn’t named in charging documents, police had earlier said he attended Saghalie Middle School in Federal Way.
One teacher told detectives that the day before Rogers’ arrest, the teacher was facilitating a group discussion about Gennings’ death with about 40 students, including the 14-year-old suspect, who “reported he had to use the restroom,” the charges say. After being told he had to wait, the 14-year-old was overheard by another staff member rapping about “smoking someone” — street slang for a fatal shooting — and that “snitches get stitches,” charging papers say.
According to the charges, police also talked to an eighth-grader, who went with the 14-year-old to visit a memorial for Gennings and said that the 14-year-old commented, “Sucks he had to die.”