Marty Kime, now 27, was sentenced Friday to 48 1/2 years in prison for the April 2015 killing of 1-year-old Malijha Grant in Kent.
King County Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender rejected defense arguments Friday that Marty Kime was young and impulsive when a 1-year-old girl was fatally shot in Kent in April 2015 in a gang retaliation shooting.
Bender sentenced Kime, now 27, to 48 ½ years in prison, nearly double the 25-year exceptional sentence recommended by the defense and just shy of the 50 years the state requested.
After a two-month long trial at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in the fall, a King County jury convicted Kime in November of second-degree murder for the death of Malijha Grant. He was also found guilty of two counts of first-degree assault for firing at her parents, Lisa Lynch and Martrice Grant, who also goes by Martrice Walker. Each charge also carried a firearm enhancement that together added 15 years to Kime’s sentence.
Kime, a leader of the Low Profile gang, orchestrated the attack on the Kent family because Martrice Grant was a member of the Deuce 8s, a rival gang Kime blamed for the death of his friend John Williams in Seattle a month earlier, Bender said.
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She said there was nothing about his actions on April 16, 2015, that was impulsive. Kime was 23 ½ when Malijha was killed, older than most young people whom the U.S. Supreme Court and state Supreme Court have found to be less criminally culpable due to their youthfulness and undeveloped brains, the judge said.
“The crime was planned and the motive stemmed from the death of Mr. Williams weeks earlier,” Bender said, noting Kime “held a position of authority and command in the Low Profile community” and so wasn’t unduly influenced by his peers.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Adrienne McCoy told the court Kime’s violent criminal history began when he was 15 when he punched a victim unconscious, then stomped on the person’s head. He was later convicted of armed robbery and then for assaulting another man in 2012 with brass knuckles because Kime had been denied entry to a party, McCoy said. Most recently, Kime and four other inmates were charged in 2017 with second-degree assault, accused of beating a man suffering from mental-health issues while in custody.
Though Martrice Grant was Kime’s target, “he didn’t care who else he hit,” McCoy said, arguing that a lengthy sentence was appropriate.
Defense attorney Lisa Mulligan said Kime was born with the deck stacked against him: His drug-addicted mother gave him up and he was neglected, abused and bullied as a child.
“None of those things were his fault,” she said. “It’s no big surprise someone in his position would end up in a gang.”
Though he apologized to Lynch and other family members who packed the courtroom for their loss, Kime maintained his innocence.
“I did not kill that baby and I didn’t participate in killing that child,” he said. “ … I’m just another person thrown into the criminal justice system.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Kime was the driver of the vehicle used to stalk the family from a grocery store to the shooting scene on Lake Fenwick Road. It is unknown if Kime was the gunman or if one of his unidentified passengers fired the fatal shot, but Kent police determined the gun used to kill the child had been used in three earlier shootings, two of them in Seattle.
Malijha was strapped into her car seat in the back of a silver Chevrolet Impala driven by her mother, with her father in the front passenger seat, when she was shot once in the head. She died two days later at Harborview Medical Center.
“Why did you kill my baby? The fact is, I’ll never have an answer. I hope you don’t sleep well because I don’t,” Lynch, Malijha’s mother, said. “This gun violence and this gang violence is not OK.”
She spoke of witnessing her daughter get shot two weeks after her first birthday and said she grieves daily for the loss of their relationship and all the birthdays and milestones that were stolen from Malijha.
“You and your clown friends wanted revenge for something that had nothing to do with my family,” Lynch said. “I hate you and I hope you suffer.”