A SeaTac girl, already charged with second-degree murder and felony hit and run in the July death of a Maple Valley man, now faces additional charges for another hit-and-run case in Des Moines prior to the Maple Valley incident.
King County prosecutors charged the girl Oct. 19 with second-degree assault and felony hit and run for reportedly striking a pedestrian with a vehicle between July 1 and July 17, according to court documents. The girl turned 16 on Oct. 1 but was 15 during the two incidents.
“While no victim has been identified in this second investigation, we updated our charges to include two new charges,” according to an Oct. 20 email from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which received a competed investigation on the case last week from the King County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office in September announced it was investigating a second hit-and-run case possibly involving the same girl who allegedly hit and killed Gregory Moore, 53, while he jogged July 18 near his Maple Valley home. Detectives allege the girl drove the same gray Toyota Camry in each case.
Despite the additional charges, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not changed its stance about charging the girl as a juvenile rather than an adult. The Kent Reporter is not naming the girl because she is a juvenile.
“Even with the additional charges filed (Oct. 19), the key facts involved in this case – and the related laws which govern juvenile vs. adult jurisdiction – remain the same: This juvenile was 15 years old at the time of the offenses for which she was charged,” according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. “She has no prior arrests or criminal history. The laws of our state presume that a child this age must be prosecuted in juvenile court.
“The only legal mechanism for having this girl tried as an adult would be for a judge to make very specific legal determinations (commonly referred to as the Kent factors based on the last name of a juvenile in a 1966 Washington, D.C., court case)). Those eight factors determine what a court must find in order to move a case from juvenile to adult court.
“While there are eight factors a judge must consider, recent changes in Washington State law have rendered the factors surrounding the nature of the crime itself largely irrelevant since the only offenses a juvenile can be declined to adult court on today are serious violent offenses against persons. As it stands, the facts and circumstances of this case do not legally support her transfer to adult court.”
Family and friends of Moore want the girl to be tried as an adult.
“Please help bring my family peace,” wrote Michelle Moore, of Maple Valley, the widow of Gregory Moore, on her Facebook page in an effort to get people to contact King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg to move the case out of Juvenile Court and into King County Superior Court.
The girl remains in custody, and the next court date is a case setting hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle. A trial date could be set at that hearing or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.
While investigating Moore’s death, detectives discovered the girl might have hit another person during a two-week period prior to that incident. A media release asking for the public’s help in the second hit-and-run case did not lead to any tips.
But further investigation by detectives and interviews of witnesses led to cellphone video evidence that showed the girl reportedly hit a man in the 20800 block of 13th Avenue South in Des Moines.
Two female voices are heard laughing on the video as the engine of the car is heard accelerating. A white man is seen in the video on the right side of the Camry wearing a white tank top. There is an audible thump as the right side of the vehicle hits the man, according to charging papers.
The video appears to show the man was hit by the right side mirror and possibly more. The side mirror is then visible in the video and missing the mirrored glass. The occupants of the Camry laugh and say things like, “smack, bitch, smack” before the video cuts off.
Detectives went to the scene and did not find a victim in the area or home video footage of the collision. Two cadaver detection dogs did indicate blood in the grass near the road.
A teen passenger in the Camry with the SeaTac girl told detectives that the man along the road was doing crack things and tweaking. She claimed he flipped them off and that the SeaTac girl swerved over. She said the man grabbed his head, got back up off the ground and flipped them off again before they drove away. She claimed the side mirror was already missing the glass.
The Sheriff’s Office released to the media screen shots from the video that appeared to show someone in a white shirt outside the car. But so far nobody has come forward with information and the identity of the victim is unknown.
A man, however, called the Sheriff’s Office to report his daughter had been in the Camry with the SeaTac girl who told her she accidentally hit a homeless guy.
In the Maple Valley case, an investigation by detectives indicated that the girl reportedly tried to bump the jogger with her vehicle to scare him. That investigation led to the arrest of the girl in September. She reportedly used her godmother’s 2004 Toyota Camry without her godmother’s permission.
It took Sheriff’s Office detectives nearly two months to track down the driver of the car. The girl’s father turned her into detectives after her godmother told them the girl might have been driving the godmother’s 2004 Toyota Camry involved in Moore’s death.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with the girl’s correct age.