A 53-year-old man was charged last week for allegedly robbing and beating a man — who suffered traumatic brain injuries from the incident and later died from his injuries — outside a Rainier Valley convenience store in late June, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Edward Motley Jr. was charged with first-degree murder Friday, prosecutors said. He’s currently being held on $4 million bail at the King County Jail, prosecutors said. According to charging documents, Motley didn’t have a stable address, though court documents reported his last known address was in Kent.
Motley was arrested more than a month after the initial incident, which occurred outside a small convenience store in the 3100 block of Rainier Avenue South on June 26 around 12:30 p.m., according to a Seattle police report. Officers responded to the area after receiving a call that a man — later identified as 60-year-old Wesley Benson — had been beaten and robbed, the report said.
When police arrived at the parking lot outside the store, the report said, Benson was on his back, bleeding, and had trouble speaking. He initially declined medical attention, but couldn’t get up on his own and was later transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he continued to struggle speaking.
When he arrived at the hospital, Benson was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and died 13 days after he was admitted, prosecutors said. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a homicide and confirmed he died from brain trauma.
Police later spoke to a witness who said they saw Benson walk out of the convenience store on June 26 when a man, identified as Motley, motioned him over, the police report said. The two men began talking, then Motley knocked Benson to the ground and started to punch and kick him, according to the witness.
The witness told police that when Benson was on the ground, Motley took Benson’s money and wallet from his pockets and started walking south.
Police later watched the store’s surveillance video from when the assault occurred, and though the video was grainy, police said it was “obvious that a one-sided fight had occurred, with Motley as the aggressor.”
Officers found and arrested Motley on Aug. 4 at the same spot the assault occurred, police said. Later that day, he admitted he was in the Rainier Avenue parking lot on June 26, but denied knowing Benson or getting into an altercation with him.
Motley is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 20 at the King County Courthouse.