Court documents from the 59th/Admiral shooting case

arrow.jpgExactly one week ago at this moment, police officers were swarming northern West Seattle, looking for a suspect in the fatal shooting inside a car at 59th/Admiral (WSB 10/13/07 photo at right). Tonight, a 17-year-old suspect is in the King County Jail, in lieu of half a million dollars bail, charged as an adult with second-degree murder. The court documents are now a matter of public record, accessible online from the King County Electronic Court Records system (which charges a nominal fee for copies/downloads). We have downloaded the charging documents filed by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, including the certification for determination of probable cause. The documents name both the suspect and victim. As the suspect is now charged as an adult, we will publish his name here: Dwayne Myatt-Perez. These court documents say he lives in the Alki area. Though as we posted earlier today the King County Medical Examiner has yet to include the victim’s identity in its media updates, he is identified in these publicly available court papers as Francisco Bailey-Ortiz, which is the same name that the suspect’s lawyer Robert Perez included in a comment on this post earlier today. Here is a transcription of the “probable cause” section of the documents, representing what police and prosecutors allege happened and what evidence they base the charge on, with one name and address omitted at WSB editorial discretion (we have noted clearly where those excisions were made):


On Saturday afternoon, October 13, 2007, at 1541 hours, Seattle Police officers responded to 59th Ave SW and Admiral Way SW, Seattle, King County, Washington. Several calls had been made to 911 regarding a man being shot inside a parked car. The officers found Francisco Bailey-Ortiz sitting in his driver’s seat with several gunshot wounds to his torso. The car, registered to Bailey-Ortiz, was parked northbound, beneath a tree, on the southeast corner of 59th Ave SW and SW Hanford St. Bailey-Ortiz was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

An adult eyewitness (Witness A) who lives nearby stated that as he drove by the parked car he observed two men fighting in the front seat. Witness A continued his observation of this altercation in his rearview mirror, turned right at the corner and parked. He then observed the car occupants unobstructed from less than 100 feet away as they continued to fight inside the car. The passenger exited the door and then lunged in toward the driver. He did this several times. Witness A then observed the passenger outside the car, crouching down by his open passenger door, with his attention still toward the driver. The passenger stood up and leaned back into the car. All of the sudden the driver’s door window exploded out. Witness A’s assumption was that the passenger was shooting at the driver. The shooting suspect (passenger) backed away and Witness A observed him place something back into his waistband. The shooting suspect then ran up hill on the right side of SW Hanford St avoiding running past Witness A. A K-9 unit responded quickly and tracked up this hill, then northbound across Admiral Way SW, and then down a trail to the Alki Community Center and Field. The K-9 Officer had to end his track because of a youth soccer game in progress on the field. Another adult witness (Witness B) observed the men fighting inside the car, but drove away and did not observe the apparent shooting. A nearby resident (Witness C) reported hearing three gunshots, in the succession of one, pause and then two more shots.

Witness A was very thoughtful in his description of the shooting suspect. He noted the skin tone and facial structure of the shooting suspect and surmised that he may be of mixed Native American and Hispanic ethnicity. Witness A’s teenage grandson is half Native American and the shooting suspect was similar in appearance. Witness A has also traveled extensively in Mexico. They further described the shooting suspect as 5’10” to 6′ in height and sturdily built, wearing his hip to knee-length black coat open. His shoes were described as basketball shoes.

On Sunday afternoon, October 14th, 2007, at 1600 hours, Bellevue Police Officers were summoned to the Law Office of Robert Perez. Dwayne Myatt-Perez, a juvenile born 12/25/89, surrendered to officers in the presence of his attorney, Robert Perez, and his mother (WSB editorial note: we are omitting her name). Myatt-Perez was handcuffed and advised of his constitutional rights. Myatt-Perez said that he understood his rights and invoked those rights. Myatt-Perez volunteered, however, “you should just take me to Seattle. That’s where it happened, West Seattle.” Bellevue Officers learned from attorney Robert Perez that the alleged incident occurred at or near a gas station at Alki Beach and that Seattle Police should have an eyewitness to the incident and some video regarding the matter. Bellevue officers contacted Seattle Police Homicide detectives and Myatt-Perez was transported to their office.

Seattle Homicide Detectives advised Myatt-Perez of his constitutional rights. Myatt-Perez said he understood his rights and invoked, stating he would make a statement with his lawyer at a future time. Detectives mentioned that they were worried about the public’s safety regarding the handgun. Myatt-Perez said that it was in a safe place.

Myatt-Perez closely matched the shooting suspect description given by the Witness A. A photomontage was prepared containing Myatt-Perez’s photo. Witness A picked Myatt-Perez from this photomontage, stating that he most closely resembled the shooting suspect. Myatt-Perez was booked into the King County Youth Service Center for investigation of homicide.

Myatt-Perez told detectives that he resides with his mother at (WSB editorial note: we are omitting the Alki-area address listed in this document). This apartment is half a block west of where the K-9 Unit was forced to shut down his track and a block away from the shooting location.

An autopsy was performed on Bailey-Ortiz. He suffered two gunshot wounds. One shot traveled through his right elbow and came to rest in his right torso. The other shot entered through his right torso and came to rest in his liver. The two recovered bullets are believed to be 32-caliber. CSI detectives at the scene recovered no shell casings. The handgun used has not been recovered at this point.

Recent sales receipts were found in Bailey-Ortiz’s clothing from the Chevron Station locaed at California Ave and Admiral Way, a half-mile from the shooting location. Several employees working at this gas/grocery location knew Bailey-Ortiz as a regular customer. One employee tentatively picked Myatt-Perez from the photomontage as an associate/friend of Bailey-Ortiz. Bailey-Ortiz was familiar enough with this gas/grocery to leave personal items for short-term storage. Video was secured from a week ago showing an individual, possibly Myatt-Perez, dropping off car keys at this gas/grocery. Thirty minutes later, Bailey-Ortiz is viewed retrieving the car keys. Ironworker friends of Bailey-Ortiz stated that he often would loan his car to a friend, unknown to them, utilizing the Chevron Station at California Ave and Admiral Way as just described. Recent video from this Chevron Station was also secured showing Bailey-Ortiz entering his car and leaving as a passenger, with the driver out of view. Bailey-Ortiz was at this gas/grocery thirty minutes before his murder.

In another document, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office explains the amount of bail they request be set, and why. This reads:

The State requests bail in the amount of $500,000. The defendant shot a man in broad daylight just off a busy street in a residential area of West Seattle. The defendant poses a significant danger to the community. As charged the defendant faces 15 to 24 years in prison. Accordingly, the defendant poses a significant flight risk. The bail requested is appropriate.

That is all the documentation available online right now from the King County Electronic Court Records system; no documents are in the system explaining the suspect’s side of the story, but we have sent a message to lawyer Robert Perez (who contacted WSB last week with a “call for witnesses” that we included in this post) to ask him if he is able to share any of that information, including a date for the next hearing. 11:50 PM UPDATE: We have heard back from Mr. Perez (who, regarding the discussion in the comments, notes that he is not related to his client) — he says the arraignment is scheduled for next Wednesday and a not-guilty plea is planned.

13 Replies to "Court documents from the 59th/Admiral shooting case"

  • Christopher Boffoli October 20, 2007 (6:06 pm)

    Very nicely reported, WSB!

  • Jan October 20, 2007 (7:21 pm)

    WSB…it’s amazing what connections you have, and how well you report things…I hope you know you’re becoming invaluable to all of us :)

  • WSB October 20, 2007 (7:31 pm)

    Thank you – in this case, we’re especially surprised that the “conventional media” has not reported any of this, since the documents were filed midweek. It is certainly not that this case is too inconsequential for other media organizations to bother with; Seattle doesn’t have many homicides, particularly not homicides in “broad daylight” in a residential area blocks away from an extremely popular city park. We believe it’s important to find out as much as we can about what happened, why, and what will happen as the case proceeds through the courts. You can count on us to keep watch.

  • The House October 20, 2007 (9:59 pm)

    Excellent job of reporting, WSB!

    Thank you very much.

    It will be interesting to see why Myatt-Perez shot the other man, but from the description of Witness A and the police report it does not appear to be a self defense case since no other weapon was retrieved at the crime scene.

  • dq October 20, 2007 (10:32 pm)

    is the suspect related to his defense lawyer? is that how/why he ended up surrending in Bellevue even though he lives in West Seattle?

  • Patrick October 20, 2007 (10:43 pm)

    I think parents need to be held accountable for their minor children who commit crimes. It is time a hard stance is taken, if they cannot control their offspring they should be jailed as well.

  • ANONY October 21, 2007 (1:03 am)

    Patrick, the suspect is 2-months from being 18 yo. His mother deserves jail time for this?


  • The House October 21, 2007 (1:51 pm)

    Patrick, I tend to agree with you in certain cases but this is not one of them. The parents in this situation can not and should not be held accountable for the murder. This kid decided to do this himself in the middle of the day. I’m sure there was a lack of parental involvement somewhere down the line, but that does not justify holding them accountable for a homicide (how could you hold them accountable)? I believe that the individual is ultimately responsible.

  • Jan October 21, 2007 (4:22 pm)

    House…I definitely have to agree with you on that…imagine that :)

  • clynn October 24, 2007 (1:24 pm)

    Thanks for reporting on this! We live several houses away, and just happened to be leaving right after the police arrived on the scene. When we got back home that night we were able to check out on the blog what was going on (we didn’t realize someone even was shot, we thought perhaps it was a wreck).

  • Anony November 4, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    This case has now been tried and a verdict reached. The shooter in this instance was found not guilty on all charges and the homicide ruled justifiable. All I can say is that what things looked like a year ago didn’t come close to revealing the true picture.

  • Anony December 19, 2008 (9:50 pm)

    Interesting verdict. Any idea on what the “true picture” / story was?

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    We reported on the trial and on the verdict, with a reporter spending the better part of 3 weeks in court and filing daily stories – are you suggesting there’s something else?

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