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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

March 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

2nd man charged in homicide near Renton

A second man has been charged in connection with the Feb. 17 shooting death of a 27-year-old man in the Lake Desire area near Renton.

King County prosecutors charged Ryan Erker, 34, of Gig Harbor, with second-degree murder. Charged earlier with second-degree murder in the case was Steven M. Marshall, who has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the victim, Ryan Prince, interrupted a burglary at a home in the 17800 block of East Lake Desire Drive Southeast that he shared with two roommates. They also say it appears Prince snapped a photo of Marshall’s vehicle license plate with his cellphone before he was killed.

According to charging papers, Prince used his security code to deactivate an alarm system at 8:05 p.m. on Feb. 17. Five minutes later, he took a close-up photo of a license plate with his phone, which was found by detectives the next day about 200 yards north of the home, the papers say.

The license plate belongs to Marshall’s burgundy Chrysler PT Cruiser, charging papers say.

According to police, Prince was “confronted by multiple assailants who were intent on burglarizing the home” and was “shot several times with multiple firearms.” He died at the scene.

At 10:30 p.m., Prince’s female roommate arrived home and found Prince’s body on his bedroom floor in the basement, the charges say. He had been shot four times — with at least two different kinds of ammunition — and had other physical injuries, according to the charges.

Deputies returned to the home and found surveillance cameras had been positioned on the front and back porches, but the digital-recording device attached to the cameras had been taken from a basement closet, the papers say. A gun was also stolen from an upstairs closet and officers found blood on the front porch and in several areas of the home, according to the papers.

Detectives were led to Marshall, 34, through the PT Cruiser as well as broken Burberry-brand blue-frame eyeglasses found on the front porch of the home, according to the papers.

Authorities also say Erker has admitted taking part in plotting the burglary at Prince’s home but claims he was not in the house when the killing took place, according to charging papers. He told police he was acting as a lookout near the home the night Prince was killed, according to the papers.

Erker told police he owns a medical-marijuana dispensary in Seattle, charging papers say.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Renton

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