Five Lacey homicide suspects all in custody

Staff writerJanuary 24, 2014 

Two juvenile male suspects arrested in Idaho Thursday night are headed back to Washington after waving extradition in connection with Wednesday night's shooting death of Daniel L. Smith in Lacey, a prosecutor said.

A total of five suspects have now been arrested in connection with Smith's homicide in the parking lot of the College Glen Apartments off of College Street.

Several of the suspects are members of the Lacey "Crips" gang, according to court papers. All five had arranged to purchase marijuana from Smith, court papers state. However, they brought no money to the planned meeting with Smith and planned to steal the marijuana from him, court papers state.

While parked in his car, Smith refused to show the suspects his marijuana, because the suspects would not show him they had any money. One suspect, aged 17, pointed a gun at Smith, and pulled the trigger when Smith tried to drive off, court papers state.

The 17-year-old accused in court papers of firing the round that struck and killed Smith was arrested with a second suspect in Idaho Thursday night.

Smith died of a single gunshot wound to the upper torso, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said Friday.

Smith's sister, Alicia Easley, cried in court Friday as one of the teens arrested in Lacey, Ryan Anderson, 17, appeared in adult court to answer to allegations he committed first-degree murder and attempted first-degree robbery in connection with Smith's homicide.

Anderson is being tried in adult court because of the allegation of first-degree murder and his age, Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said.

"Don't live a life of crime, you've got to change yourself," Easley said to Anderson, who appeared in the Olympia courtroom via a video monitor from the Thurston County Jail. "...Just learn dude, be better when you get out. Change your life."

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch allowed Easley to address the court on the subject of Anderson's bail, but Easley instead addressed Anderson directly. Anderson's face reddened and he appeared emotional as she spoke.

Outside court Friday, Easley said her brother Smith leaves behind a wife and two daughters, ages 1 and 3. "He was a good guy, he had his heart in the right place all the time," Easley said.

Hirsch set Anderson's bail at $500,000 Friday, and found probable cause to support the accusations he committed first-degree murder and attempted first-degree robbery. Anderson has a prior record of juvenile arrests, including for second-degree burglary and fourth-degree assault, court papers state.

The five arrested suspects include two adult males who were arrested with Anderson early Thursday morning at the College Pointe Apartments, located just down the road from the College Glen Apartments. They are Eric Adamczewski, 19, and Stephen Pettit, 18. Both are being held at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery, with bail set at $500,000.

Adamczewski has no prior criminal history; Pettit has prior juvenile arrests for third-degree burglary, being a minor in possession of alcohol and possession of drug paraphernalia.

After the arrests in Idaho, there are no other suspects wanted in connection with Smith's homicide, Lacey Police Cmdr. Jim Mack said.

The two juveniles who were on the run in Idaho were arrested about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Lacey police said. License plate recognition software on a camera on Interstate 90 in Idaho had verified that their car had entered that state, Mack confirmed Friday.

Lacey police coordinated resources with law enforcement in Idaho after learning that the suspects had entered the state, Mack added.

A Pinehurst, Idaho police officer who was on the lookout for the suspects' vehicle found it parked at a Conoco gas station in Shoshone County, Idaho, about 9:30 p.m. He then arrested the two juveniles, including the 17-year-old boy who is alleged to be the shooter.

Teresa Baker, a spokeswoman for the Idaho State Police, confirmed Friday that law enforcement there uses license plate recognition software to apprehend suspects for certain crimes. A search warrant is not necessary to access suspects' license plates, because there is no expectation of privacy for license plates of cars traveling on public roads, she confirmed.

There are protocols for Idaho law enforcement as to when it will use the software to identify license plates and apprehend suspects, Baker added. She confirmed that law enforcement uses the software by entering a license plate number in a computer, then using the software on the cameras to determine whether a vehicle has passed the camera during a certain time period.

Both Idaho suspects were arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. They waved extradition Friday during a court hearing in a Shoshone County courtroom, Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Graham said.

Graham said all three of the juvenile teens will be tried as adults, because state statute requires it when juveniles of their age are accused of first-degree murder. The two juveniles arrested in Idaho will appear before a judge in juvenile court on Monday, but the cases will be remanded to Thurston County Superior Court, he said.

 

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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