Pleas of not guilty were entered Monday on behalf of the man accused of firing the shot that killed a Tacoma city employee on her front porch last summer.
Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Patrick Oishi ordered Olujimi Blakeney, 25, jailed in lieu of $2 million bail during his arraignment. He is charged with first-degree murder, drive-by shooting and unlawfully possessing a firearm.
Lisa Marie Melancon, 40, was shot July 22 as she stepped out onto the front porch of her home while calling 911 to report a fistfight in the 7200 block of South Bell Street.
Police believe Blakeney fired the fatal shot from a car fleeing the scene, according to court documents. Prosecutors said in court documents that he showed “an extreme indifference to human life” when he fired. Police don’t believe Melancon was targeted.
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Two other men in the car – Manuel Castillo and Herman Jackson – pleaded guilty to riot in the case last month and are expected to testify against Blakeney.
Blakeney fled to California after the shooting and was arrested there last month after allegedly telling someone about his involvement in the killing, Deputy Prosecutor Gerald Costello said in court.
Melancon worked for the city for 15 years, most recently as a building inspector in the code enforcement division.
City officials said she was a driving force in the creation of two projects aimed at cleaning up Tacoma’s neighborhoods: Tacoma CARES and Community Based Services Program.
Both programs aim to create cleaner and safer neighborhoods by giving residents access to services for nuisance abatement, beautification and crime prevention.
Melancon’s brother Vinney Silva said outside court, “It’s time to get some justice for Lisa.”
“There’s a reason guys like him carry guns,” Silva said of Blakeney. “They’re cowards, and they feel insecure.”