UPDATE: Capodanno pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled for June 21.
INITIAL POST: It wasn’t fatally shooting two men that landed Jeremy Capodanno in federal court today – it was possessing the marijuana the dead men broke in to steal and the guns Capodanno used to defend the grow operation in his South Hill garage.
A federal Grand Jury indicted Capodanno, 36, of manufacturing marijuana, carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.
If convicted as charged, Capodanno faces 15 years in prison. Prosecutors are also trying to seize homes and cars the Grand Jury believes Capodanno bought with drug money or used in the commission of a crime.
He was arrested at a Kent home Wednesday, more than four months after a shootout that upended his neighborhood in the 5900 block of 132nd Street East.
Capodanno and his young son surprised two armed burglars wearing masks and carrying backpacks in his garage the morning of Dec. 6 and a gunfight broke out.
When deputies were summoned to the home by Capodanno, they found the dead men in a three-car garage attached to the house. They were later identified as Roy Piercy of Roy and Frederick Adamkiewicz of Tacoma, both 30.
Deputies also found marijuana, guns and the boy’s backpack strewn throughout the garage and on the driveway.
Capodanno had an illegal marijuana grow with nearly 200 plants in the loft of his garage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He also allegedly had a Benelli 12 gauge shotgun, Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, Intratec Tec-9 9mm pistol, Professional Ordinance MDL Carbon 15 and a Glock 17 9mm semiautomatic pistol, which Capodanno is believed to have used to kill the burglars.
“This defendant chose to enter the illegal drug business and armed himself to protect his trade, not his home,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement. “His conduct brought thieves to his door, put his 7-year-old son at risk and ended with him taking two lives.”
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced today his office would not be charging Capodanno with the double homicide.
“It’s undisputed the two individuals killed were armed intruders,” Lindquist said. “Even if you have an illegal enterprise in your house or garage, you have the legal right of self-defense.”
The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation, which means federal prosecutors will try to seize Capodanno’s homes in South Hill and Kent, as well as his guns, 2008 Mercedes and a 2008 Toyota pickup truck.