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No murder charges for four tied to Bonney Lake fatal shooting

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Oct. 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
October 29, 2012 1:45 pm

A man was shot dead in a Bonney Lake garage last week, but none of the four people tied to the slaying will face a murder charge.

It started with two men planning to rob some acquaintances of prescription drugs and ended with one of the men, 26-year-old Donald Thomas, being shot multiple times.

Today, Thomas’ cohort, 20-year-old Colton Elliot Geeson, was charged with attempted robbery. The three people who lived in the duplex that was robbed – Job Mitchell Edwards, 33; Michael Allen Edwards, 35; and Krystal Lee Frietas, 32; have each been charged with first-degree kidnapping and felony harassment.

Pierce County prosecutors said more charges may follow but murder will not be among them.

“By all accounts, it appears they were engaging in self-defense in their own home when the robber got shot and killed,” Deputy Prosecutor Phil Sorensen said.

Geeson cannot face a murder charge because he was committing a crime with Thomas and can’t be held responsible for his death.

The Edwards brothers both shot Thomas after a struggle broke out Thursday in their home in the 9200 block of 75th Street East.

It is unknown how many times Thomas was struck but investigators found seven casings from a .40 caliber handgun and one from a 12 gauge shotgun at the scene. A second shotgun, a second .40 caliber handgun and a .45 caliber handgun were also found in the duplex but did not appear to have been fired the day of Thomas’ death.

According to charging documents:

Thomas and Geeson went to the duplex planning to rob Frietas and the Edwards brothers of their drugs. Once inside the garage, Thomas pulled out a gun and struggled with Michael Edwards.

Michael Edwards managed to take Thomas’ gun and Thomas tried to run down the stairs.

Job Edwards, summoned by his brother’s cry for help and yell of an intruder, grabbed a handgun and came face to face with Thomas as he tried to escape. After seeing Thomas raise his hands, Job Edwards fired 5 or 6 times.

In the meantime, Michael Edwards ran to his bedroom to grab a shotgun. He told police he also shot Thomas.

The brothers held Geeson captive at gunpoint for more than 15 minutes and threatened to kill him. They ordered him to drive his car into the garage and load Thomas’ body into the vehicle. As the garage door was closing, Gleeson managed to slip beneath it and escape. He called 911.

Police arrested the Edwards brothers at the home. Frietas surrendered after several minutes of police demanding she come outside.

Frietas, who was dating Michael Edwards, told police that Thomas pulled a gun on her boyfriend and fired several times. She denied seeing Michael Edwards with a weapon but said she heard gunshots coming from the stairway.

After the shooting, she loaded unknown evidence into a car and drove the car to a nearby apartment complex, where she left it. Police later recovered the vehicle.

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