Mom of Lacey murder suspect charged with helping him flee state

Staff writerFebruary 26, 2014 

The mother of the 17-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting Danial Smith in Lacey Jan. 22  was charged Tuesday with two counts of rendering criminal assistance for driving her son and another murder suspect to Idaho after Smith's homicide, court papers state.

Robin Mena, 42, of Puyallup, was charged Tuesday with one count of felony rendering criminal assistance and one count of misdemeanor rendering criminal assistance, court papers state.

Another of Mena's sons, Nathaniel Swanson, 20, also is charged with one count of felony rendering criminal assistance and one count of misdemeanor rendering criminal assistance for helping the two murder suspects flee after Smith's homicide, court papers state.

Mena is the mother of Ronny McDaniel, 17, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery in connection with Smith's shooting death outside the College Glen Apartments in Lacey Jan. 22.

According to court papers, Mena drove McDaniel, and Nickolas Armajo, 16, to Idaho after Daniels was shot dead. Lacey Police Sgt. Terence Brimmer said Wednesday that Mena was present, but not taken into custody immediately after McDaniel and Armajo were arrested in Idaho on Jan. 23 because investigators were focused on the murder investigation at the time.

McDaniel, Armajo, and three other Lacey suspects are accused in court papers of arranging to purchase marijuana from Smith on Jan. 22. The five suspects planned to rob Smith of his marijuana during the prearranged drug buy, court papers state.

When the group met outside the College Glen Apartments off of College Street in Lacey Jan. 22, McDaniel allegedly fired a single round from a handgun that struck Smith while he was inside his car, court papers state. Smith died at the scene.

The three other Lacey suspects charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree robbery in connection with Smith's homicide are: Ryan Anderson, 17; Eric Adamczewski, 19; and Stephen Petit, 18. All five suspects are charged as adults, and all five have pleaded not guilty to their charges.

Anderson, Adamczewski and Petit were all arrested the morning after Smith's homicide at a nearby Lacey apartment complex. According to court papers, McDaniel's brother Swanson helped arrange for McDaniel and Armajo to meet up with Mena, driving them to her location.

Mena then drove her son and Armajo to Idaho, court papers state.

License plate recognition software at Interstate 90 in Idaho helped Lacey police learn that the car Mena and the two suspects were fleeing in had entered that state.

When the group was apprehended in Idaho, "Mena maintained that she knew nothing of what happened prior to transporting them to Idaho," court papers state. However, other witnesses said otherwise, according to court papers.

It was unclear Wednesday whether Mena and Swanson would be arraigned on Tuesday March 4, or the following Tuesday.




Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445;

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