The father of 1-year-old Malijha Grant, who was fatally shot last year in Kent as part of an ongoing gang feud, was arrested Saturday, accused of forcing a now 19-year-old woman to prostitute for him. She told police he became even more violent after his daughter was killed.
The father of a 1-year-old girl who was killed last year in a drive-by shooting in Kent was arrested by Seattle police Saturday for allegedly forcing a young woman to work as a stripper and prostitute and turn her earnings over to him.
MartriceWalker was charged last week with two counts of first-degree promoting prostitution, which generated a warrant for his arrest, according to charging documents. He is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail, jail records show.
Walker also goes by the name Martrice Grant, according to search warrants filed in the homicide investigation into the fatal shooting of his daughter, Malijha Grant.
A second man, who allegedly pimped out, then sold the now 19-year-old victim to Walker, is wanted on a $150,000 warrant, charging papers say. Seattle police requested that his name not be disclosed because he remains at large.
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On April 16, 2015, 1-year-old Malijha was fatally shot as her mother drove toward their apartment in Kent, with her father in the front passenger seat, Kent police said.
Police believe Malijha’s father, purportedly a member of the Deuce 8 street gang, was targeted by members of the Low Profile street gang in retaliation for a fatal shooting in downtown Seattle in March 2015.
In December, DeMartrae “Marty” Kime, an alleged gang member, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Malijha’s death and two counts of first-degree assault for allegedly firing at the baby’s parents. Kime, 24, remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bail. Kent police have previously said they are investigating a second suspect in the shooting.
Walker, 30, has denied being a gang member.
According to charging papers, the alleged victim in the prostitution case was detained by Seattle police during a prostitution sting on Aurora Avenue North in March 2015. She said Walker was her pimp and told detectives “she wanted assistance getting out of the life of prostitution,” the papers say.
She backed out of an initial interview with detectives because “she was in fear for her safety,” but in October, she provided the first of at least three statements to police, according to the charges.
The woman, who said she first met Walker in 2013 when she was 16, said he explained to her “how the prostitution industry works and how they could make money together,” then forced himself on her, the charges say.
Several months later the two began dating “and she thought he really wanted to be with her,” charging papers say. He encouraged her to get her hair and nails done, then started taking “all of the money she made from stripping,” telling her “he was saving up so they could buy a house together,” the papers say.
Upset that she wasn’t bringing in enough money by stripping, the woman told police Walker made her walk the “prostitution track” on Aurora Avenue and posted ads on Backpage.com, also for the purposes of prostitution, according to the charges.
She reported that Walker regularly beat her and had threatened to kill her and her family if she went to the police, the papers say.
The woman told police that after Walker’s daughter was killed, he became even more violent and would search her body to be sure she wasn’t hiding money from him, according to the charges.