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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Charges dismissed against Federal Way man in attempted human-trafficking case

King County prosecutors dismissed three felony charges against a 28-year-old Federal Way man on Tuesday after concluding that more investigation is needed to determine whether he was involved in the kidnapping and attempted human-trafficking of a now 23-year-old Seattle woman.

Randy Stevens was originally charged as a co-defendant with Tariq Shabazz, a fugitive believed to have fled to California after allegedly kidnapping a woman from a Pioneer Square bar in January 2012. Shabazz, 28, is wanted on a $500,000 warrant for first-degree kidnapping, second-degree robbery and attempted human-trafficking, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

The victim woke up on the floor of an abandoned apartment in the Rainier Valley and was later driven into downtown Seattle by Shabazz and a woman suspected of working for him as a prostitute, according to charging documents. At some point, a second man got into the vehicle and he and Shabazz talked about either killing the victim or taking her to Las Vegas to prostitute for them, the papers say. The second man threatened the victim with a knife and stole her belongings before ordering the female driver to drop him off; soon after, the victim escaped by throwing herself out of the moving vehicle and suffered a severe head injury as a result, charging papers say.

The victim was later able to lead a Seattle police detective to the Rainier Valley apartment, which Shabazz had previously rented, and also identified Shabazz from photos taken during an event at the Pioneer Square bar, the papers say. Shabazz’s phone records were used to identify Stevens as the second suspect, according to charging papers.

At a bail hearing on Jan. 9, Stevens – who was originally arrested Jan. 2 and released later that day – was ordered re-booked into jail on a $500,000 warrant over the objections of his defense attorney.

On Tuesday, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Valiant Richey filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice the charges against Stevens, writing that additional information received following Stevens’ Jan. 9 bail hearing “has led the State to conclude that further investigation is necessary to confirm the identity of the second suspect.” Dismissal of the charges without prejudice means they can be refiled if warranted.

King County  Superior Court Chief Criminal Judge Ronald Kessler signed an order authorizing Stevens’ release from jail.

The dismissal in Stevens’ case “does not in any way impact charges against” Shabazz, who remains at large, Richey wrote.

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: attempted human-trafficking, kidnapping, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

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