Prosecutors allege that Ali Muhammad Brown, a Muslim man, killed the three men in King County and a fourth in New Jersey in a fit of rage over the U.S. government’s role in the Middle East.
A man suspected of killing three men in Seattle and Skyway in 2014 will not face the death penalty, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced Friday.
Ali Muhammad Brown, 32, is accused of killing Leroy Henderson in Skyway, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle. Brown is believed to have fled to New Jersey days after the latter two shootings.
Satterberg said in a news release he decided against seeking the death penalty after reviewing the case and speaking with the victims’ families.
Brown, 32, is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder in King County.
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Brown is being held in New Jersey, where he recently was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree robbery and several other crimes. He also is awaiting trial for one count of first-degree murder in Essex County, N.J., as well as another robbery charge in Ocean County, N.J.
It could take more than a year for those cases to be resolved, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release. When that happens, Brown will be returned to King County to face charges.
Prosecutors allege that Brown, a Muslim man, killed the four men in a fit of rage over the U.S. government’s role in the Middle East. He was on a federal terrorism watch list and wrote in his journal that he planned to follow the Islamic State group and “learn the ways of jihadis.”
Brown is accused of fatally shooting Henderson shortly after 11:45 p.m. April 27, 2014, as Henderson was walking home from a Skyway store. Deputies linked Brown to the slaying through the 9 mm bullets and casings found in and around Henderson’s body.
Said was driving Anderson-Young home from R Place, a gay club on Capitol Hill, on June 1, 2014, when they were shot. Brown had reportedly met up with Said over a gay social-networking app, then connected with the two men outside the club that night and got into Said’s car, according to charges.
“The murders took place less than 17 minutes after two witnesses saw Ali Brown leave with the victims in Said’s car. There is no evidence to suggest that Said and/or Anderson-Young were armed, and these murders do not appear to be motivated by robbery, drugs or any other crime,” Seattle police Detective Cloyd Steiger wrote in investigative documents.
In a January 2015 interview with The Seattle Times, Falana Young-Wyatt, mother of Anderson-Young, said she didn’t feel strongly about whether Brown should be condemned to death row. She said she only cared about his swift return to King County to face trial.
“I want him to look me in the face,” she said. “I want him to know my son’s life matters. I just want justice for my son.”