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October 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Alleged driver in fatal shoplifting incident faces murder charge

By Evan Marczynski / Skagit Valley Herald

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — A first-degree murder charge has been filed against the alleged driver of an SUV that hit and killed a Sedro-Woolley shop owner last week as she attempted to stop an apparent shoplifter.

According to the Skagit County Jail roster, Matthew John Tobin, 19, is being held on $750,000 bail.

Charges had been filed in Skagit County Superior Court as of Wednesday. However, charging documents were not available for viewing due to technical issues, according to a clerk at the filing office.

Tobin was initially being held for investigation of hit and run and first-degree robbery, but the jail roster on Wednesday stated that a murder charge was added, as well.

Yongmin Pak, the co-owner of James Market on West State Street, died after she was hit by the SUV while pursuing a young man who walked out of the store with two cases of beer without paying.

A 17-year-old boy who jumped into the SUV was booked into juvenile detention on Saturday for questioning in connection with the theft.

Also Wednesday, police arrested another 19-year-old man who they believe was a passenger in the SUV on the night of the incident.

Police Chief Lin Tucker said the man was taken into custody early Wednesday afternoon after he appeared at the front counter in the lobby of the Burlington Police Department and was recognized by officers.

Tucker said he wasn’t sure if the man intended to turn himself in or if he was at the police station for another reason.

It is the third arrest made following the Oct. 2 incident at James Market.

Tucker said police have  impounded the SUV, and investigators are continuing to process it for evidence.

A sign posted on the door of James Market this week said the store would reopen Thursday.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: hit and run, Sedro Woolley

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