17-year-old sentenced to 3 years in juvenile custody in connection with Lacey homicide

A Juvenile Court Commissioner has sentenced a 17-year-old boy to a minimum of 3 years in juvenile custody for his role in January’s shooting death of Daniel Smith during a botched robbery of two ounces of marijuana at the College Glen Apartments off of College Street in Lacey.

The defendant, Ryan Anderson, entered a guilty plea last week to a juvenile count of second-degree robbery in connection with the case. As part of his plea, Anderson admitted that on January 22, he drove four other teens to the College Glen Apartments in a prearranged plan to rob Smith of two ounces of marijuana, court papers state.

But Smith refused to show the group of teens his marijuana, and another of the suspects, also 17, is accused of pointing a firearm at Smith and pulling the trigger as Smith tried to flee in his car, court papers state.

Smith, 34, died of a single gunshot wound to the torso. He left behind a grieving wife and two daughters, who were 1 and 3 when he died.

All four other suspects face pending charges of murder in connection with Smith’s homicide. The four suspects all face potential adult sanctions in Thurston County Superior Court, according to Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim. The suspects range in age between 17 and 19.

Tunheim has said that several of the suspects are members of the Lacey “Crips” gang.

Anderson was initially arrested on suspicion of murder under an accessory theory in connection with Smith’s homicide, and he initially appeared in adult court. However, as part of his plea deal, the case was moved to juvenile court. According to court papers, the investigation found no evidence that Anderson ever left his car during the botched robbery.

Court papers also state that after Smith’s homicide, Anderson “refused to allow the alleged shooter back into his car.”

Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Wayne Graham, who prosecutes juveniles locally, could not be reached for comment Thursday because he was at a training conference in Chelan.

According to Anderson’s sentencing documents, a Juvenile Court Commissioner agreed to the juvenile equivalent of an exceptional sentence in handing down the approximately 3-year sentence. Anderson will spend his sentence in a juvenile rehabilitation facility, court papers state.