Murder charge in stray-bullet killing of Seattle dadon July 20, 2012 @ 1:31 pm (Updated: 2:39 pm - 7/20/12 )
The King County Prosecutor filed the charge Friday against Andrew Patterson, 20, of Federal Way.
Police investigators think an argument over a cigarette led to angry words and finally gunfire last May 24 near the intesection of East Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. A stray bullet killed Justin Ferrari, 43, who was driving with his parents and two young children. Ferrari worked for several high-tech companies, including Zillow, Microsoft, and Expedia.
In charging documents filed Friday, investigators state that Patterson and two fellow gang members shouted insults at a man after trying to bum a cigarette. Ian Goodhew, in the prosecutor's office, says even though the shooter missed his intended target, it's still a felony second degree murder case.
"What that means is that the suspect is accused of intending to assault a particular victim," said Goodhew. "In this case, in the course of intending to assault that victim, another individual died."
Under the law, he said, intent transfers to the actual victim.
Police identified Patterson through witnesses, cell phone tracking, his gang affiliation and multiple surveillance cameras and video, including video from a bus where he used an electronic pass to pay his fare.
Detectives say Patterson used a pass stolen before the shooting.
If convicted of the murder charge with a firearm enhancement, Patterson would face 15 to 23 years in prison. Patterson is due in court to enter a plea on Aug. 2.
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