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UPDATED: Prosecutors charge teenage brothers in death of teen at East Side home

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on June 4, 2012 at 6:22 am with 24 Comments »
June 4, 2012 1:48 pm
Hector Hernandez/Courtesy of Facebook

UPDATED at 1:48 p.m.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged two teenage brothers with first-degree murder in the slaying of a 15-year-old boy Friday at their East Side Tacoma home.

Luis Arroyo, 16, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment this afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court. He was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.

His younger brother, 14-year-old Cristobal Arroyo, will make his first court appearance at Remann Hall juvenile court.

Prosecutors allege the brothers repeatedly stabbed Hector Hernandez-Valdez, 15. Investigators say he’d been stabbed and slashed more than 34 times, the Prosecutor’s Office reports.

Hernandez-Valdez had gone to the brothers’ home in the 800 block of East 52nd Street on Friday to meet with Luis Arroyo. Luis Arroyo told detectives he called Hernandez-Valdez and invited him to come over and smoke marijuana.

Hernandez-Valdez lived two blocks away.

Prosecutors allege the older brother was armed with a knife before Hernandez-Valdez arrived.

As the teens walked upstairs, Luis Arroyo claimed Hernandez-Valdez punched him a couple of times – without being provoked – in the back of the head. The 16-year-old said he stabbed the victim in the face.

A fight broke out.

Cristobal Arroyo reportedly heard the fight and saw his older brother fighting over the knife with Hernandez-Valdez.

“He armed himself with a ‘large nail’ and joined in, stabbing the victim in the neck and back,” a press release states.

Prosecutors allege the brothers took an injured Hernandez-Valdez to the bathroom to “drain him.”

“The victim was still alive and making noises,” the press release states. “One of the brothers cut his throat to kill him.”

The brothers were trying to clean up when their mother came home from lunch. The blue recycling bin was in the living room and towels with reddish-brown stains were on the floor.

The boys first told her they were making chili. They later told her a man had attacked them and they were forced to kill him.

The mother went upstairs and saw Hernandez-Valdez lying on a sheet.

The woman went to a nearby Tacoma police substation and reported finding a body in her house. By the time officers arrived at the woman’s house, the body had been moved from inside to the recycling bin.

Detectives found two “BB” guns, a knife, a machete, a “shank” and trash bags filled with used cleaning materials inside the house.

The older brother will face charges in adult court. Prosecutors are still deciding whether to try the younger brother as an adult.

Hernandez-Valdez lived in Tacoma and went to Lincoln High School, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office and Tacoma School District reported.

A crisis counseling team is at Lincoln High School today to talk to any students or staff about Hernandez-Valdez’ death.

Leave a comment Comments → 24
  1. Regfool2 says:

    I think I’d ask the court if I could be emancipated from having to raise these two little heathens and put in a witness protection program.

    Condolences and prayers to Hector’s family.

  2. arrowhead2003 says:

    The loss of a child is so tragic and using the comments portion of the Tribune to mock how these murderers disposed of this young man is even more tragic. Condolences to Hector’s family.

  3. grottowes says:

    Why are they murderers? Have they had a trial allready?

  4. Chippert says:

    I’d be interested to know why those two comments were deleted. I didn’t see where either were uncivil, lengthy, all caps, spam, obscene, profane, abusive or off-topic. So that we can make sure we follow rules in the future, please tell us the reason.

  5. BlaineCGarver says:

    The “rules” are applied in an Arbitrary and Capricious manner, mostly against conservative and NON-PC comments.

  6. Regfool2 says:

    grottowes – So in your world, unless it has the verdict of a jury, it doesn’t exist? Please. Mom comes home, finds the evidence, including Hector, and her boys confess to murder to her? And you have doubts? Are you a social worker? ’cause they’re the only folks I’ve ever met who would buy into your logic.

  7. Ortingmom says:

    grottowes; Yes they are murderers and scum bag thugs too. rip to the victim and hang the boys

  8. everybodiesmom says:

    Whatthehell – What does the whale have to do with this article? And what are illgals and steret??? First if you were trying to say they were “illegal” you are making an assumption based on your own racist stupidity, as your post shows, did you graduate the 5th grade? Do you speak English better then you write it?

    Skippy – 3 dirtbags? How do you know the victim was a dirtbag, his family is grieving and you throw out your assumptions to try and drag the victims name through the mud, shame on you!

  9. skippythedog says:

    @everybodiesmom: Guilt by association. He went over there to smoke dope with his pals. This wasn’t a cub scout meeting. Where do you think these kids got their dope money? It wasn’t from mowing lawns. The standard of public opinion is much lower than the standard for a court conviction and often much more accurate in its’ findings.
    The dirtbag ruling stands.

  10. hooks21 says:

    “whale, theres three more illgals off the steret”??????

    You write like you are not from here. I sure hope you are pretending to be illiterate.

    As for this story, it sounds fishy. Invited him over for a friendly 4:10 meeting and a fight breaks out and a handy shank was available just in case?

  11. dtacoma says:

    16 and 14. Words fail. Due to the viciousness, callousness, and premeditation of the murder, I presume both will be tried as adults.

  12. ruledbysun says:

    I could never think a life is not valuable. How can somebody kill another? I mean there are fights yes, but kill? that’s somebody’s baby!

  13. alindasue says:

    grottowes’s comment was here this morning when I first saw the article. Most of the details you cite were added to the article later. I didn’t see them until I came back to the article during a discussion with my daughter who goes to Lincoln.

  14. BigSwingingRichard says:

    According to an article on, prosecutors report the 16 year old attempted to rob the 15 year old of his marijuana and cash with a knife and the 15 year old fought back.

    No mention if medical marijuana was involved, a non-dangerous natural substance which most liberals agree needs to be both decriminalized and then legalized since usage is a victimless crime.

  15. everybodiesmom says:

    @Skippy – The 16 year old suspect alleges the 15 year old came over to “smoke dope”. We don’t know what really happened or how their paths crossed. He may have been walking by and got jumped. And where do you think they get their “dope” money? You don’t know that they didn’t mow lawns, maybe they babysat, maybe they recycled cans. The fact remains you make assumptions and are trying to sling mud on the name of a dead 15 year old while his family mourns and tries to cope with their loss.
    Shame on you ruling also stands

  16. these comments always crack me up, everyone leaving comments to feel better about themselves. makes you not feel like the losers you are!!!!

  17. MarkyMark92 says:

    Please come out to support his family and friends tonight at 8:00 pm on East 52nd and I st. near Sherdan Elementary. Thank you

  18. buttmanroad says:

    hooks21. It’s called 4:20 and as to others Potheads spend their time looking to feed themselves and Don’t kill people.

  19. thebestofthebest says:

    No kidding lurcch….

    Condolences and prayers to Hector’s family….

  20. thanks for making my point skip

  21. skippythedog says:

    You’re right. I feel better.

  22. yabetchya says:

    I feel for the family of the young man who was murdered, and the family of the two young men who have been reported to do this awfull act. This is a lose, situation. Both families are in my thoughs and…..prayers.

  23. Hi all. I work at the REACH Center, and I have many clients who were friends with Hector and went to school with him. I was shocked and appalled when I saw this.

    The staff at the REACH Center would like to express our deepest regret and sympathy to Hector’s family and friends.

    Honestly? I have no words for this. It’s just completely senseless.

  24. hooks21 says:

    Sad, but I knew it was 4:20……..KJR has the 4:20 Dope of the day……I don’t know I why I keep calling it 4:10……..probably good I only know it’s 5 o’clock somewhere:)

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