A 15-year-old SeaTac girl, who was driving a relative’s Toyota Camry without permission early on July 18, decided to “scare” and “bump” a jogger she saw running on the side of a rural road outside Maple Valley, King County prosecutors say.
The girl and her 14-year-old passenger later laughed about the way the man — who has since been identified as Greg Moore, 53 — “flew over the car” when recounting the story to another teen, say criminal charges filed Tuesday.
The 15-year-old driver, who turned herself in to King County sheriff’s detectives last week, was charged with second-degree felony murder and felony hit-and-run, according to charging papers. She is accused of killing Moore while attempting to commit the crime of second-degree assault, then fleeing the scene without rendering aid, the charges say.
She remains in detention at the Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle. It wasn’t clear Tuesday whether an attorney had been named to represent her.
The Seattle Times does not typically identify juveniles accused of crimes unless they are charged as adults. Prosecutors do not intend to seek a hearing to have the 15-year-old’s case moved to adult court.
“As heartbreaking as this case is, it’s also highly unlikely a juvenile court judge would allow this individual — a 15-year-old with no criminal history — to have her case handled in adult court,” Casey McNerthney, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in an email. “Even when juveniles are convicted as adults, Superior Court judges at sentencing can — and do in many cases — still follow the juvenile sentencing guidelines set by state lawmakers.”
A busted headlight cover, video-surveillance footage and witness statements helped detectives piece the case together.
Just before 11 a.m. on July 18, a woman called 911 and reported she had found a man dead in a ditch in front of the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in the 23800 block of Southeast 216th Street in unincorporated King County outside Maple Valley, charging papers say. The church is west of the intersection with 244th Avenue Southeast.
Moore, who was reported missing by his wife after he failed to return from his early morning run, was found shoeless, with pieces of a headlight lens cover near his body, the charges say.
An autopsy showed Moore suffered multiple blunt force injuries, including a significant skull fracture, say the charges. He also had long abrasions on the back of his calves, consistent with a bumper strike from a passenger vehicle.
Detectives located video-surveillance footage that showed Moore running east on the shoulder of Southeast 216th Street near Maxwell Road Southeast at 6:10 a.m. on July 18, roughly 0.7 miles from where he was struck. Six minutes later, the same camera captured a gray Toyota Camry driving east, followed closely by a silver Ford Escape, the charges say. Both vehicles were next seen running a stop sign on 216th, passing through the intersection with 244th Avenue Southeast, 0.3 miles from where Moore’s body was found.
At 6:28 a.m., both vehicles were again seen on the footage, with the Camry still in the lead but driving east to west, passing by the ditch where Moore died, the charges say.
After information about the Camry was made public, a woman went to the sheriff’s SeaTac precinct on Sept. 7 and said she thought her car may have been involved in Moore’s death, say the charges. Detectives inspected the car, which had a cracked windshield, a busted headlight and a right front bumper that had been pushed in, damage consistent with Moore’s injuries, charging papers say.
The woman told police that the 15-year-old had claimed the car was damaged by someone with a bat, say the charges.
Detectives also interviewed the Camry’s 14-year-old passenger and the 15-year-old driver of the Ford Escape, who confirmed the Camry’s driver hit a man running on the side of the road while driving 50 mph, according to the charges.
The 15-year-old girl charged in Moore’s death was brought to the SeaTac precinct by her father on Thursday night and was arrested, the charges say.