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Five plead not guilty in death of man who was strangled and dumped near Graham

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Oct. 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm with No Comments »
October 2, 2012 4:24 pm

Five people pleaded not guilty today to kidnapping, robbing and murdering a 51-year-old man and dumping his body outside a Graham house.

Those charged with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery in the death of Dean Barker were Aileenah Horton, 17; William Barry, 33; Angela King, 32; Justin Mahaffey, 23; and Joshua Stevens, 23.

A sixth person, Jeffrey Powell II, 30, also is charged but has not been arrested. A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest. A seventh person was arrested this afternoon and is expected in court Wednesday.

Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Horton, Barry, King and Stevens jailed in lieu of $2 million bail at the request of Pierce County deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen. Foley ordered Mahaffey jailed in lieu of $2.5 million bail, also at Sorensen’s request.

Prosecutors contend the six people attacked Barker on Sept. 7 at a house in South Tacoma. His body was found the next day at a newly built, vacant house in Graham. Medical examiners said he’d been strangled.

Some of the defendants told detectives people in the group were mad at Barker because he allegedly sexually assaulted King weeks before his death and might have had something to do with the brief disappearance of Barry’s 3-year-old daughter.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said there is not corroborative evidence to support those claims.

“The motive for this kidnapping and brutal murder is still murky,”  Lindquist said. “What we know is that all the defendants were involved in a robbery and kidnapping that led to murder.”

Stevens told police Barry was smoking marijuana the day his daughter went missing and might have just lost track of her. She was found unharmed by police that same day.

At least three of the defendants said Barker was still alive when Mahaffey and King left with him after the beating. King told detectives she and Mahaffey later met up with Powell in Graham and that she saw Barker walking away with him.

 

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