Lights & Sirens

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Prosecutors argue South Hill man who killed two burglars trying to steal marijuana is a flight risk

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on April 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
April 23, 2013 2:47 pm

Federal prosecutors have filed a motion to keep a South Hill man indicted on drug and weapons charges in jail, arguing that he is a flight risk.

A grand jury last week indicted Jeremy Capodanno, 36, with manufacturing marijuana, carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted, he faces 15 years to life in prison.

“Given this lengthy sentence, the defendant has an incentive to flee,” prosecutors argue in the 8-page motion. “In addition, the defendant’s previous efforts to hide his assets, suggest that he may still have the means available to flee.”

They point out Capodanno’s houses in South Hill and Kent are listed for sale.

A detention hearing is set for this afternoon.

Capodanno shot and killed two men who broke into his garage in the 5900 block of 132nd Street East Dec. 6. Pierce County prosecutors declined to charge him with the homicides because he was defending his property, even though it was an illegal marijuana grow.

Law enforcement found nearly 200 pot plants in a hidden loft in Capodanno’s three-car garage.

The motion, which was filed Monday, provides the most detailed look yet at Capodanno’s operation and what happened the morning of the shootings.

Capodanno told investigators he was lying on the couch when he heard whispering. He got a 9mm Glock pistol from his bedroom and headed toward the garage.

Surveillance footage recorded him peering in the garage window, where two armed, masked men were apparently trying to steal Capodanno’s marijuana.

“Mr. Capodanno is seen to carefully and deliberately take aim from outside the residence and then he then fires one shot through the window into the garage,” according to the motion. “He then went around to the now-open exterior garage door, and (by his account) opened fire.”

Roy Piercy of Roy and Frederick Adamkiewicz of Tacoma, both 30 years old, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

DEA agents first began investigating Capodanno in 2006 after an informant told them Capodanno was buying up to 100 pounds of marijuana at a time and sometimes shipping it to Alabama.

After disclosing the information to agents, the informant was beaten to death and the investigation into Capodanno stalled, court records show.

While investigating the marijuana grow in South Hill, deputies searched several of Capodanno’s old cell phones and found text messages discussing the sale of marijuana dating back to 2009.

In arguing that Capodanno should stay in jail until his trial, federal prosecutors said Capodanno poses a danger to the community and has lied to law enforcement.

On the day of the shooting, he told Pierce County sheriff’s deputies that he only had one gun. Deputies found a Benelli 12-gauge shotgun, a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, an Intratec Tec-9 9 mm pistol, a Professional Ordnance Carbon 15 and the Glock 17 9 mm semiautomatic pistol Capodanno allegedly used to kill the burglars.

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