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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

October 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

4 people held, 1 sought in death of Lakewood man

Four people have been ordered held on $2 million bail each and prosecutors have charged a fifth person with murder, robbery and kidnapping in the death of a Lakewood man whose body was dumped outside a new home for sale.

The News Tribune reports that 30-year-old Jeffrey Wayne Powell II was sought on a nationwide arrest warrant. Pierce County prosecutors charged him Monday in the death of 51-year-old Dean Barker. The Lakewood man’s body was found dumped in the community of Graham on Sept. 8.

Prosecutors contend that Powell and those under arrest were involved in Barker’s abduction, beating and strangulation.

According to court documents, two of those arrested contend the victim sexually assaulted them in the weeks before his death. One of those arrested told authorities the group believed Barker had molested a 3-year-old girl.

County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says it’s not clear “if this is a case of vigilante revenge or if the allegation of sexual assault is just a cover story.”

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