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UPDATED: Another arrest made in Lakewood videotaped torture case

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on June 10, 2011 at 6:21 am |
June 10, 2011 11:57 am

Lakewood police have arrested a fifth suspect in connection with the videotaped torture of a man inside an apartment last year. The man’s remains are believed to be those found near Harts Lake earlier this year.

Lakewood police booked the woman into Pierce County Jail on Thursday night on suspicion of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Pierce County prosecutors have already charged four others – three men and a woman – in the case.

Charging documents allege Randall Stuart Harbin was seeking revenge against the man seen being tormented on a video obtained by law enforcement. Harbin had been angry with the victim for allegedly stealing his car, which contained methamphetamine.Harbin asked Maalo Semu Samaota to find the car. Samaota then asked Aleeya Freeman to bring the victim to a Lakewood apartment.

Prosecutors have alleged that Samaota tortured the man while Michael Crosman recorded it.

The video does not show the man’s death, but investigators believe his remains were those found earlier this year near Harts Lake. They continue to await tests to confirm their suspicions and the victim’s identity.

Samaota and Crosman are charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the case. Crosman has pleaded not guilty. Samaota has been arrested in Oregon and awaits extradition to Pierce County. Freeman and Harbin have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Investigators suspect the woman arrested Thursday night provided transportation to one of the other defendants from the crime scene, Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler said. Detectives also believe she was in the Lakewood apartment when the victim was bound and assaulted.

The investigation into the case was continuing.

“The major crimes detectives continue to investigate this case and plan to arrest anyone who had knowledge or involvement in this case,” Lawler said.

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