(Memorial in Roxhill Park paying tribute to the victim, photographed by WSB last Sunday)
Just in from Seattle Police – a 21-year-old man is in custody in connection with last week’s Roxhill Park murder (original WSB report here). The brief police update is on SPD Blotter – it says the suspect’s been in custody since last Thursday. That’s the same day the victim found early Wednesday morning was officially identified as 40-year-old Bernard Martin, as the Medical Examiner confirmed he was killed by injuries including broken ribs. More info to come.
2:36 PM UPDATE: King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the suspect, 21-year-old Chatri Lime Thip (DOC mugshot added, at right), is charged with second-degree murder and is jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. The motive was said to be “rage” experienced by the suspect after the victim walked up to him and asked for a beer while Thip was drinking beer reportedly stolen nearby. The murder weapon: A shopping cart. We are reviewing the paperwork now and will add more details from the narrative shortly.
ADDED 2:56 PM:The narrative, transcribed, in progress – adding in chunks (so keep refreshing if you see this before it’s finished):
On 9/22/2010 at 0731 hours the Seattle Police Department 911 center received a call from a citizen reporting a man down in Roxhill Park. Responding officers located a male down and obviously deceased near some rockery benches in the park. The victim appeared to have been beaten. (Medical Examiner) responded to the scene and also rendered the preliminary opinion that the victim had been beaten to death, although the official cause of death ruling would follow the autopsy. Patterns in the dirt near the body appeared to indicate that it had been moved or dragged around the area. The victim was without his shirt and shoes and was extraordinarily dirty. His wallet had been removed and the contents emptied onto the ground. He has been tentatively identified as Bernard Ray Martin, age 40.
The scene investigation by SPD Homicide and CSI detectives revealed the presence of a large quantity of beer cans and bottles, and beer packaging in the immediate area of the victim. Detectives observe the following beer brands that appear to be predominant.
MGD 64 beer, 18 pack bottles
MGD 64 beer, 18 pack cans
MGD beer, 24 pack cans, two of these
211 Steel Reserve beer, 12 pack cans
The remainder of this rather large city-owned park was mostly free of litter and trash. Inquiry at stores that sell beer within close proximity determines that the Safeway store located at 2615 SW Roxbury is the only store that sells 2 of the specific brands/quantities that were present at the scene of the body.
Detectives contacted management of that Safeway store and advise of our interest in determining via computer research or other means when a certain quantity of certain beers were recently purchased. The intent being to isolate a time frame to review security camera footage for images of the person(s) buying that beer. A short time later detectives were advised by Safeway management that the previous evening they actually had a theft of a large quantity of beer of the brand and volume located at the crime scene. An employee is located at Safeway who has knowledge of the theft and those that participated in it. Detectives locate and interview (the employee).
(The employee) is shown still images from the security camera recordings. He identifies several of the individuals in the images including the male that actually pushed the shopping cart loaded with stolen beer out of the store. (The employee) names him as “Lime.” (He) explains that he is acquainted with “Lime” from the neighborhood but knows nothing more about him. (He) describes “Lime” as Asian, possibly Filipino.
(Employee) states he then goes to the nearby park just north of the Safeway (Roxhill Park) and locates the individuals that stole the beer. (He) indicates that he knew this is where these individuals frequently go. He ends up staying with them there for a while, drinking the stolen beer with them. (He) states that while they were there, a guy walks up and asks if he can buy a couple beers from them. They gave him two beers for a dollar, and he left. (Employee) states the guy came back a little while later and “Lime” immediately “gets into it with him.” (Employee) explains that Lime was pushing and poking him and verbally harassing him. (Employee) states that one of the other guys who he identifies as “Sii” or “Lausi’i” starts “getting into it” with Lime. (Employee) states that the situation was getting too tense so he decided to leave. He leaves the park and goes home.
Using SPD and public databases a possible identity for Lime is isolated as Chatri Lime Thip. Detectives show (employee) a photograph of Thip and (he) confirms it to be a photograph of who he has been referring to as “Lime.”
On 9-23-2010 at approximately 1845 Thip is located in Pacific, WA. He is transported to SPD HQ for interview. The resulting interview is video and audio recorded in its entirety. Subsequent to Miranda warning. Thip admits to the theft of the beer and to transporting the stolen beer to Roxhill Park. Thip admits to drinking approximately six of the stolen beers. Thip admits that while they were in the park the victim walked up to their group and asked for a beer. Thip states he did not know the victim. Thip states the victim did nothing to anyone in their group and was not threatening in any way. Thip states that for no apparent reason Thip, or possibly one of the other males present, punched the victim, knocking him down. Thip states he repeatedly punched and kicked the downed victim in the face, body and head. Thip states numerous times he jumped off a small wall into the air landing on the chest or back of the victim with his buttocks. Thip states he repeatedly picked up a full sized steel framed shopping cart and slammed it down onto the torso of the victim. Thip also struck the victim with a bottle. Thip then left the area, with the victim still down on the ground. Thip made no attempt to summon medics or other aid for the victim.
Thip’s only explanation for what he did to the victim was that he experiences “rage” when he drinks.
At the time of Detectives’ interview with Thip, he shows Detectives reddish soiling on the inside of his pants. Thip states the soiling is the victim’s blood that was transferred there when he jumped onto the victim from the small wall. These pants, along with his shoes, have been taken as evidence and will be scientifically examined later …
That’s it for the transcription of the narrative. A judge granted prosecutors’ request for $1 million bail; they wrote, “The defendant’s criminal history includes a 2008 conviction for Rendering Criminal Assistance in the First Degree relating to a murder committed in Pacific, Washington; a 2006 conviction for Taking a Motor Vehicle Without the Owner’s Permission; and a 2005 conviction for Assault in the Fourth Degree.” His arraignment is set for October 12th.