July 19, 2013 at 5:59 PM
Suspect in Molly Conley slaying pleads not guilty
A 27-year-old Marysville man, charged Thursday with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal drive-by shooting of 15-year-old Molly Conley in June, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Snohomish County Superior Court on Friday.
Erick N. Walker also pleaded not guilty to four counts of drive-by shooting for allegedly firing a weapon into a series of Lake Stevens and Marysville-area homes in the early-morning hours of June 2.
Walker, who had no previous criminal history, was tied to the shooting primarily through the unusual .30 carbine caliber bullets recovered from the homes, prosecutors said in charging documents.
Though the bullet that killed Conley, an athlete and top student at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School, has not been recovered, five bullets recovered from the other shootings that night match two weapons found in Walker’s home, police and prosecutors said.
Walker is currently being held in Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $5 million, but his defense attorney reserved the right to argue for a lower bail.
Prosecutors said they were charging Walker with first-degree murder, rather than second-degree murder, because he exhibited “extreme indifference to human life” when he allegedly fired a weapon into the group of girls that Molly was with when she was killed.
Conley was celebrating her 15th birthday with five friends on June 1 when she was shot as she and the others walked along a narrow Lake Stevens road.
In addition to the bullets, investigators say damage on Walker’s black Pontiac G6 coupe tied him to one of the shooting scenes where the suspect’s car was reported to have struck another vehicle.
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