Lakewood police have arrested a fourth suspect in the videotaped torture of a young man who later was killed last year.
Investigators booked the 55-year-old man into the Pierce County Jail on Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. He was taken into custody without incident at the County-City Building after he showed up for a pretrial hearing on an unrelated drug case, police Lt. Chris Lawler said.
Detectives believe the victim, not yet identified but known as “Cool Aid,” stole the 55-year-old man’s car, which contained drugs. The car owner contacted two men – Maalo Semu Samaota and Aleeya Dawn Freeman – and asked them to get his car back and teach the victim a lesson, Lawler said.
Detectives still are looking into whether the older man ordered the victim assaulted or killed.
“We believe he knew, either way, what happened afterward and didn’t bother to talk about it,” Lawler said.
Pierce County prosecutors have charged Samaota, Freeman and Michael Crosman in the slaying.
Crosman has pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder; Freeman has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Samaota was arrested last week in Portland and is awaiting extradition to Tacoma to face aggravated first-degree murder charges.
A disc containing the 19-minute attack on the victim was dropped off at the Spokane Police Department in February. The person who left the disc told officers the attack occurred in Pierce County and resulted in a death.
Detectives eventually determined the attack took place in a Lakewood apartment where Crosman, 25, and Samaota, 30, had been living.
Crosman has told detectives the slaying was payback for the victim stealing a vehicle full of drugs. Police believe he recorded the crime while Samaota wielded a knife and taunted the victim.
Prosecutors allege Freeman, 30, lured the victim to the apartment.
The investigation was continuing, and more arrests could be made, Lawler said.