Lights & Sirens

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Man to be arraigned today in last week’s slaying at a Lakewood park

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 6, 2011 at 10:46 am |
April 6, 2011 2:15 pm

UPDATE: Daniels was arraigned this afternoon and was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail.

ORIGINAL POST: An 18-year-old man is expected to be arraigned today on charges he robbed and killed a man last week in Lakewood’s Wards Lake Park.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Ramone Lee Daniels and Bethany Ann Tesfaye with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the March 31 shooting death of Elias Lopez Lopez, 25.

Tesfaye, 19, was arraigned on the charges Tuesday. She was ordered held in Pierce County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Daniels was booked into Pierce County Jail on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to make his first court appearance today.

Charging documents provide the following information:

Lopez Lopez had met Tesfaye through another person.  They had sent text messages back and forth and when he returned from Oregon on Thursday, they decided to meet.

Tesfaye told detectives that she told Daniels, her boyfriend, that she planned to rob Lopez Lopez. Daniels said he would be there and they came up with a plan.

Lopez Lopez picked up Tesfaye and drove the parking lot of a mobile home park. They walked to Wards Lake Park, sat on some benches and talked for a while.

Tesfaye told detectives Daniels came out of the bushes and hit Lopez Lopez on the side of the head with the gun. The force of the blow fractured Lopez Lopez’s skull.

Lopez Lopez ran away. Tesfaye told detectives that Daniels fired two shots. A bullet hit Lopez Lopez in the back of the head, killing him.

Daniels then went through Lopez Lopez’s pockets, taking his wallet, cellphone, keys and cash.

Lakewood police initially arrested Tesfaye and Daniels on Saturday after a vehicle and foot chase. They found a stolen gun on the floor of the car involved in the pursuit. Tesfaye was booked into the jail; Daniels was taken to a hospital for treatment of a lacerated kidney he suffered when he crashed the car during the pursuit.

Investigators looked at Tesfaye’s booking mug and found it matched a photo of a woman that had been sent to Lopez Lopez’s cellphone. (Lopez Lopez had sent the photo to a relative’s phone, who shared it with detectives after his slaying.)

Tesfaye was brought down for an interview about the slaying and confessed to what happened.

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