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June 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Tacoma 16-year-old charged in slaying at his home

A 16-year-old Tacoma youth who prosecutors say was helped by a 14-year-old relative pleaded not guilty Monday to robbing and fatally stabbing a 15-year-old at the defendant’s east side Tacoma home last week.

Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $2 million for Luis Arroyo, who has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Hector Hernandez-Valdez.

A later court hearing will determine whether the 14-year-old relative, who prosecutors say not only assisted in the killing but helped try to cover it up, will also be charged as an adult.

Nearly three dozen stab and slash wounds were found on the victim’s body, according to Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, who called the killing “a horrible, adult-sized crime” that calls for charges in adult court.

According to the prosecutor, the defendant’s mother told police she arrived home about 2 p.m. last Friday to find a blue recycling bin in the living room of her home, along with towels bearing reddish-brown stains.

The teens told her the were cleaning up chili, but the woman realized it was blood, prosecutors said.

The teens then told her a man attacked them and they were forced to kill him, but the defendant’s mother went upstairs and found a dead youth on a sheet, Lindquist said..

The woman drove to a police substation to report the crime. Officers who went to the home found the victim’s body, wrapped in a blanket, in a recycling bin in the alley.

Lindquist said the victim apparently came to the home to meet with Luis Arroyo, who, armed with a knife, attempted to take the victim’s marijuana and cash.

The younger relative armed himself with a “large nail” and assisted in the killing, Lindquist said.

 

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Tacoma

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