Prosecutors will rely on 'overwhelming circumstantial' evidence in Conley murderon July 2, 2013 @ 2:45 pm (Updated: 7:46 am - 7/3/13 )
Snohomish County District Court Judge Tam T. Bui set bail at $5 million for Erick N. Walker, who turned 27-years-old on Tuesday.
Walker, an employee at Boeing with no criminal history, is suspected of carrying out a shooting spree that began in Lake Stevens on the night of June 1. Molly Conley, a 15-year-old freshman at Bishop Blanchet High School, was shot in the neck and killed while walking with a group of friends in the 10600 Blk of S. Lake Stevens Road
According to court documents, several homes and vehicles were struck with bullets in Lake Stevens, Marysville and unincorporated Snohomish County in the hours after Conley was murdered.
Prosecutors revealed at a hearing Tuesday that ballistics testing matched five bullets recovered at several of the scenes to two separate Ruger Blackhawk handguns seized from Walker's residence. A bullet was not recovered at the scene of Conley's murder and Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe declined to comment Tuesday on the lack of physical evidence linking Walker to the homicide.
"We think there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that the same person is responsible for all of these (shootings)," he said. "But prosecutors aren't supposed to try their cases to the media and start discussing specifics and arguing things."
Just two hours before charges were filed late Tuesday afternoon, Roe told reporters his office would prosecute Walker for first-degree murder in the Conley case.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joan Cavagnaro told KIRO Radio the decision was made to file a charge of second-degree murder after Judge Bui determined earlier in the day that probable cause did not exist to hold Walker on murder in the first degree, based on evidence provided in court documents.
"Given that that was the judge's take on the case at this point in time, we decided that it would be best to stick to the charges that (Bui) found probable cause for," Cavagnaro said. "This is not to say that the case may not end up as a first-degree murder later on."
Molly Conley's father was in court Tuesday, but declined to speak with the media.
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