An 18-year-old Tacoma man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he robbed and killed a man last week in Lakewood's Wards Lake Park.
After his arraignment, Ramone Lee Daniels was ordered held in the Pierce County Jail on $1 million bail.
Prosecutors charged Daniels and Bethany Ann Tesfaye, 19, with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the March 31 shooting death of Elias Lopez Lopez, 25.
Tesfaye was arraigned Tuesday and ordered held in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Charging documents gave this account:
Lopez Lopez had met Tesfaye through another person. They exchanged text messages and, when he returned from Oregon on Thursday, decided to meet.
Tesfaye told detectives that she told Daniels, her boyfriend, that she planned to rob Lopez Lopez and they came up with a plan.
Lopez Lopez picked up Tesfaye and drove to the parking lot of a mobile home park. They walked to Wards Lake Park, sat on some benches and talked for a while.
Tesfaye told detectives Daniels came out of the bushes and hit Lopez Lopez on the side of the head with the gun, fracturing his skull.
Lopez Lopez ran away. Tesfaye told detectives Daniels fired two shots. One hit Lopez Lopez in the back of the head, killing him. Daniels then went through Lopez Lopez’s pockets, taking his wallet, cellphone, keys and cash.
Lakewood police arrested Tesfaye and Daniels on Saturday after a car and foot chase that was unrelated to Thursday’s killing.
Officers found a stolen gun on the floor of the car and booked Tesfaye into jail; Daniels was taken to a hospital for treatment of a lacerated kidney he suffered when he crashed the car during the pursuit.
Investigators looked at Tesfaye’s booking mug and found it matched a photo sent to Lopez Lopez’s cellphone. (Lopez Lopez had sent the photo to a relative’s phone, who shared it with detectives after his slaying.)
Tesfaye was questioned about the slaying and confessed, police said.