A man suspected of fatally stabbing the owner of a Lakewood convenience store during a botched robbery was arrested Friday morning.

Marcus Louise Williams, 24, surrendered in Tacoma and was taken into custody by the South Sound Gang Task Force.

He and Bonifacio Alvarez Reynolds, 20, are both charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 14 death of In Cha Choe while she was working at her McChord Mart store.

Williams is also charged with second-degree murder.

Alvarez Reynolds turned himself in Tuesday but investigators had been unable to find Williams.

Charging papers give this account of the homicide:

Choe was working alone at about 10 p.m. when a man walked in, grabbed a bottle of barbecue sauce and approached the register.

Surveillance video then shows him walk behind the counter, push Choe and reach for the cash register.


As Choe tried to stop him, he stabbed her in the abdomen and chest before leaving with the money.

Choe followed with a collapsible baton and they struggled, but the man shoved her down and ran.

Choe started to follow him outside, then returned to her store and shut the register before locking up and leaving.

She “… is seen walking down the ramp with an unsteady gait, then enters her car and briefly leaves the parking lot before pulling back in and stopping the car in front of the store,” the declaration for determination of probable cause says. “Ms. Choe does not exit the vehicle.”

Choe was found unconscious and was pronounced dead at Madigan Army Medical Center soon afterward.

Police pleaded with the public for tips and one led to Williams.


His DNA was found on the bottle of barbecue sauce, records say.

Detectives determined Reynolds drove Williams to the store and waited down the street. He allegedly did not know Williams was going to stab the store owner.

Regular customers called Choe “Mama,” and many said she cooked for them, offered hugs and smiles and tried to help those in need.

Williams has a 2015 conviction for robbing a Tacoma convenience store using a BB gun and a 2018 conviction for burglarizing a Lakewood coffee stand, according to court records.