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UPDATED: Verdict reached in University Place murder trial

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
March 16, 2010 5:31 pm

A Pierce County jury has reached a verdict in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a University Place resident in his apartment last year.

News Tribune court reporter Adam Lynn is at the courthouse and will report on the jury’s decision.

The jurors have been deliberating the fate of Marcus Thaddeus Clayton, 23. Prosecutors have charged him with first-degree murder in the March 10, 2009, death of Darryl Bracey, 61.

Two others were charged in Bracey’s death. Last year, Airreale E. McCowan pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery. She’s scheduled to be sentenced Friday. Celestine Danette Nathan, 40, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years, 10 months in prison.

An employee at Sunset Ridge Apartments in the 5900 block of Hanna Pierce Road West found Bracey dead in his apartment on March 10. 2009.

Court documents allege Nathan, Clayton and McCowan planned to rob Bracey. Nathan knew Bracey and recruited Clayton to rob him, court documents state.

Court documents allege Clayton shot Bracey before Nathan and McCowan stole items from his apartment.

UPDATE: The jury found Clayton guilty of first-degree murder,  conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and theft of a firearm. They acquitted him of tampering with a witness.

Sentencing is set for April 2.

Clayton faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.

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