A 14-year-old Federal Way boy was ordered held in juvenile detention Monday, a day after he turned himself in to police in connection with the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Wesley Gennings. A 16-year-old suspect, a friend of Gennings’, is also being held.
A 14-year-old Federal Way boy was ordered held in juvenile detention Monday afternoon in connection with the Feb. 13 shooting death of 16-year-old Wesley D. Gennings.
The 14-year-old turned himself in to Federal Way police around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, three days after police arrested his alleged accomplice, a 16-year-old friend of Gennings’, at Thomas Jefferson High School, according to the probable-cause statement filed by police in the older boy’s case.
The older boy is accused of setting Gennings up to be ripped off during a marijuana deal, the statement says. The two suspects met Gennings at the Crystal Pointe Apartments on 25th Avenue Southwest, then were dropped off at the Trellis Apartments, less than a quarter-mile away, according to the statement.
The 16-year-old, who is in juvenile detention, is expected to be charged as an adult in King County Superior Court on Tuesday, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
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Under state law, 16- and 17-year-olds accused of committing serious, violent offenses are automatically charged as adults. Younger teens can potentially face adult charges, but only if prosecutors first request what is known as a “decline hearing” so that a juvenile-court judge can determine the appropriate venue for prosecution.
The Seattle Times generally does not name juvenile suspects unless they’re charged in adult court.
“That little boy was in my home,” Gennings’ mother, Leilani Gennings, said in a phone interview Monday, referring to the 16-year-old suspect. “I fed him, I gave him rides, he spent the night. I’m in so much pain, I don’t know what to do.”
Unaware her son was alleged to be selling marijuana until after his death, Leilana Gennings — who was disabled in a car crash several years ago — speculated he might have been trying to make some money to help out the family. She recalled once taking her son to buy new shoes and on the way home, he gave them to a homeless man.
“That’s how he was,” she said. “He would have given his friend that marijuana if he’d been asked. Instead, he was executed for it.”
According to the probable-cause statement, Gennings was shot once in the back of the head as he sat in the driver’s seat of his car, which was parked in the parking lot of a Taco Bell restaurant at 2130 S.W. Campus Drive just after 8 p.m. on Feb. 13.
Witnesses told arriving officers that two males were seen getting out of Gennings’ car, grabbing something from inside before calmly walking away, the statement says.
Police received numerous anonymous tips and witness statements that allowed detectives to identify the two suspects, the statement says.
Police say the two suspects were picked up within minutes of the fatal shooting at an apartment complex a few blocks from the scene, according to the statement. The older teen then gave the driver directions to a “nearby body of water,” though the statement doesn’t indicate the exact location. The 16-year-old hopped out of the car, ran across a busy street to the water and returned about a minute later, the document says.
Witnesses also told police that hours before Gennings was killed, the two teen suspects were overheard talking about obtaining marijuana from Gennings, with at least one witness reporting it appeared “they did not intend to pay for the marijuana,” the statement says.
Additional details were released after the 14-year-old’s court appearance on Monday:
According to Federal Way police, after driving to the water, the 16-year-old suggested that they needed to return to the scene to retrieve Gennings’ car, but when they drove by, at least one officer had already arrived, says the probable-cause statement filed in the younger boy’s case.
That document also says the two suspects took from Gennings’ vehicle a bag containing several smaller “baggies,” which were each marked with rows of dark-colored triangles. The same baggies were found in Gennings’ car and one of the baggies was later found in the 16-year-old suspect’s bedroom inside a Taco Bell bag that also contained marijuana remnants, the statement says.