A 50-year-old sex offender was charged today with first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery in the death of a man whose body was dumped outside an unoccupied Graham house.
Kenneth Bierd is now the eighth person tied to the slaying of Dean Barker, 51, of Lakewood. He is expected to be arraigned this afternoon.
Bierd has been in Pierce County Jail since mid-September, when he was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender. He has a prior conviction for voyeurism.
Seven others have pleaded not guilty to the same charges in Barker’s death – Aileenah Horton, 17; William Barry, 33; Angela King, 32; Joshua Stevens, 23; Justin Mahaffey, 23; Jeffrey Powell II, 30; and John Joseph Brown, 60.
Barker’s body was discovered Sept. 8 outside a home for sale in Graham. His hands were bound behind his back and his mouth was taped shut.
Prosecutors allege the group attacked Barker at a house in South Tacoma, beating him and stealing his wallet, watch and car.
According to charging documents:
King, Mahaffey and King then loaded Barker into an SUV and stopped to pick up Bierd, who kept Barker from escaping by clutching a bike chain and lock that had been put around the victim.
Bierd told detectives Barker begged for his life while Mahaffey, a gang member, yelled at Barker for being a snitch. He then strangled him and dumped Barker’s body outside the Graham house.
A motive has not been established but some of the defendants told detectives they believed Barker had sexually assaulted one of the women weeks before his death.
Prosecutors said there is no evidence to support that claim.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the motive remains “murky” and all eight “participated in it, no one stopped it.”