Six people, including a 17-year-old girl, were charged today with first-degree murder in connection with last month’s kidnapping and slaying of a Lakewood man.
“The motive for this kidnapping and brutal murder is still murky,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a news release. “Some of the defendants alleged that the victim was somehow involved in the disappearance of a three-year-old, and that he previously sexually assaulted defendant King, but there’s no corroborative evidence to support these claims.”
Charged were: Jeffrey Powell II, 30; William Barry, 33; Aileenah Horton, 17; Angela King, 32; Justin Mahaffey, 23; and Joshua Stevens, 23. They have also been charged with robbery.
Five of the defendants, except for Powell, are in custody and were arraigned this afternoon in Tacoma. All five pleaded not guilty, according to the Tacoma News Tribune.
A warrant has been issued for Powell’s arrest.
According to the news release:
The victim, Dean Barker, 51, and the six defendants were together on Sept. 7 when Barry began attacking Barker. Others joined in the attack and they stole Barker’s wallet, watch and his car. The group divided up his cash.
Barker, who was still alive, was taken outside and loaded into an SUV. He was strangled and his body was left in the front yard of a vacant home in Graham.
According to the defendants, King claimed that Barker had sexually assaulted her weeks ago, the news release said. Barry’s daughter had gone missing for approximately three hours earlier that day and Barry blamed Barker.
The unharmed child was found by police that same day.
Horton, the 17-year-old, has been charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime, according to Lindquist.