Thurston County homicide linked to drugs and a stolen gun

Christopher Heeren (left) is suspect in the shooting death of Shaddie Graham on Sept. 29. He appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Friday with public defender Larry Jefferson.
Christopher Heeren (left) is suspect in the shooting death of Shaddie Graham on Sept. 29. He appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Friday with public defender Larry Jefferson. adickson@theolympian.com

A 32-year-old man found dead in Guerin Park on Sept. 29 was likely shot with a stolen gun after a dispute over narcotics, investigators believe.

Christopher M. Heeren, 32, is being held in the Thurston County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder while armed with a firearm and first-degree robbery while armed with a firearm. The Thurston County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Shaddie Graham, a 32-year-old Spanaway man.

Heeren appeared Friday in Thurston County Superior Court, and Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax ordered him held without bail. He found probable cause for the robbery and murder charges.

Deputy Prosecutor Wayne Graham advocated for the no-bail hold, arguing that Heeren poses a significant risk to community safety. He said Heeren’s criminal history began in 2001, with gun-related charges. Since then, he has been convicted of multiple counts of robbery, and was recently released from a 14-month prison sentence.

Public defender Larry Jefferson asked the commissioner to set some bail.

“Given the allegations, I don’t believe that there is a condition or a combination of conditions that would secure the safety of the community (if Heeren were released) at this time,” Kortokrax said.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office arrested Heeren on Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Kortokrax previously set bail at $250,000 in that case.

They proposed the additional charges Thursday, after receiving ballistic results from the Washington State Crime Lab, according to a news release.

Heeren reportedly made statements to several people linking him to Shaddie Graham’s death.

He texted his stepsister with the message, “Shaddie’s dead, I’m sorry,” according to court documents. He reportedly left a note for his brother saying that he would “talk to him when he gets out of this mess.”

Witnesses told detectives that before Shaddie Graham’s death, Heeren made plans to pick him up from Seattle and bring him to Olympia. The two had been in a disagreement regarding drugs, according to court documents.

A witness said Shaddie Graham had both cash and drugs, which were stored in a Camel cigarette packet. After Shaddie Graham’s death, Heeren was reportedly seen in possession of the cigarette packet.

Heeren and Shaddie Graham were seen entering the Red Wind Casino about 1 a.m. on Sept. 29. Heeren’s stepfather reported they came home at about 3 a.m, according to court documents.

Shaddie Graham was still asleep on the couch about 4:30 a.m.

A passerby found Shaddie Graham in Guerin County Park at about 4 p.m. on Sept 29. He had been shot in the neck, according to court documents.

Heeren lived near the park, and a witness reported seeing the duo in the woods.

Detectives believe Heeren shot Shaddie Graham with a gun stolen from Heeren’s stepbrother’s roommate. At least two guns had been stolen from a utility building, but there were no signs of forced entry. Heeren had a key, the roommate reported.

The guns were a .357-caliber handgun, and a .380-caliber Glock-style handgun.

Heeren’s cousin reported that he asked her to help him sell the .357-caliber gun, according to court documents. Text messages backed up her statement.

The roommate was able to provide detectives with a fired shell casing from one of the guns, and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab was able to match that to the bullet found in Shaddie Graham’s body.

Multiple witnesses reported seeing Heeren with a gun, according to court documents.

Amelia Dickson: 360-754-5445, @Amelia_Oly