King County prosecutors say a 41-year-old Shoreline man lured a woman to his apartment Saturday night with the intention of killing her and fatally attacked her with a hatchet, bongo drums and bolt cutters.
Tyrone Wells was charged Wednesday with premeditated first-degree murder, accused of killing Randee Rios, 32, who suffered multiple blunt- and sharp-force injuries to her head early Sunday, charging papers say.
In addition to a deadly-weapon enhancement, the charges allege the aggravating factor that Wells’ conduct manifested deliberate cruelty to Rios, which if proven, could justify a sentence above the standard sentencing range.
Wells called 911 just after 7:20 a.m. Sunday and told a dispatcher that he had killed a woman in his apartment in the 17500 block of Linden Avenue North, according to the charges. He met sheriff’s deputies in the building’s parking lot and was arrested after deputies went inside his apartment and found Rios’ body, with the bloody hatchet and bolt cutters nearby, the charges say. Broken bongo drums were also found in the apartment.
Wells remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned April 13. Court records do not yet indicate which attorney is representing him.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Aubony Burns wrote in charging documents that Wells was wanted on three warrants, including one for assault, in three different courts at the time of his arrest.
Court records show Wells was wanted on bench warrants in Lynnwood and Blaine, Whatcom County, for misdemeanor theft and Snohomish County District Court for fourth-degree assault.
He also has three misdemeanor convictions for weapons offenses, according to the charges filed Wednesday. It does not appear Wells has any prior felony convictions.
“The defendant admitted he invited the victim to his home, they watched movies and she fell asleep,” Burns wrote, adding Wells woke up Rios before attacking her. “The defendant’s incredibly brutal actions in this case … make clear he poses a substantial danger to the community.”
The charges don’t provide a motive for Rios’ slaying, but prosecutors say Wells claimed to have been using meth in the days leading up to her killing.
According to the charges, Wells and Rios met in 2017 after Wells moved here from California, and the two had been involved in an intimate relationship. He invited her over around 10 p.m. Saturday and she took a bus from the North Seattle apartment she shared with her mother, the charges say.
Friends of Rios’ mother have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to support her family.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story.