King County Prosecuting Attorney
||Updated: 4:00 p.m. August 28
Bail Hearing for Suspect in Theft of SUV with Child Inside: A judge set bail today at $500,000 for a 25-year-old man who was arrested yesterday on investigation of kidnapping and auto theft after he allegedly stole an SUV with a 10-month-old child inside. The alleged car thief sped away from a West Seattle convenience store. The SUV was found abandoned with the child inside a short time later. The child was unharmed. The suspect waived his appearance at today’s bail hearing. A second appearance is scheduled for September 2 at 2:30 p.m. in courtroom 1 of the King County Jail.
Charges Filed in Kent Double Homicide: A 29-year-old man was charged on Monday with two counts of Murder in the First Degree with Firearm Enhancements for last Wednesday’s double homicide at a gas station in Kent. The defendant, Leland Russell, Jr, is accused in the shooting deaths of two employees of the gas station, David Christianson and Carlos Gonzalez. Prosecutors allege that Russell and another man arrived at the busy gas station during the morning commute and started arguments with several customers who were attempting to use the business’s services. Witnesses said the defendant and his friend were rude and combative toward customers and Shell Station employees before they were told to leave by the victims. After the defendant’s friend started to physically assault one of the victims, Russell allegedly retrieved his gun from his vehicle and shot the two unarmed victims multiple times at close range.
“This was an absolutely senseless and outrageous act of gun violence that claimed two innocent lives,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. “The evidence shows that the defendant and his friend came to the gas station looking for trouble,” he said. “As his friend provoked a fist fight with a store clerk, the defendant retrieved his gun from his car and, without warning, fired multiple rounds, killing Mr. Gonzales, the store clerk, and Mr. Christianson, the store manager who was trying to break up the fist fight,” Satterberg said.
Bail was originally set at $2 million, but prosecutors requested and the court ordered that bail be denied for the defendant because of the danger he poses to the community. Russell will be arraigned on September 8 at 9 a.m. in courtroom GA of the Maleng Regional Justice Center. If convicted as charged, the sentence range is 50 to 63 years in prison. The case is being handled by Senior Deputy Prosecutors Jessica Berliner and Karissa Taylor.
Defendants Sentenced for Murder of Woman Found in Burned Car: A Kent man was sentenced on Friday to 45 ½ years in prison for the death of Denise Grigsby, 39, whose body was discovered in the trunk of her burned-out car in May 2012 near Black Diamond. A jury convicted a Kennon Fastrup, 32, last month on charges of Murder in the First Degree (DV), Arson in the Second Degree (DV), Attempting to Elude Police, and Violation of a No Contact Order. Fastrup’s co-defendant, Michelle Backstrom, 37, was also sentenced Friday to 12 ½ years in prison. She pled guilty in March to a charge of Murder in the Second Degree for her involvement in the murder. The defendants murdered Grigsby after an argument between Fastrup and the victim. The case was handled by Senior DPAs Brad Bales and Kristin Richardson.
Kent Car Show Shooting
Case Wrap Up: All Seven Defendants Convicted
The last two remaining defendants charged in a July 23, 2011 shootout at an unauthorized car show and rap concert in Kent have pleaded guilty. The King County Prosecutor’s Office (PAO) charged a total of seven defendants in the Kent car show shootout that left 12 people wounded. A 13th person was wounded in a subsequent drive-by shooting later that evening in an apparent act of retaliation. All seven have now been convicted.
The defendants are identified members of the Playboy-Surenos street gang. Investigators pieced together the events of the Kent car show shootout through painstaking efforts after forming the South King County Gang Violence Initiative. Detectives from the Kent Police Department led the effort, but nearly a dozen police agencies contributed to the investigation. Investigators, facing a chaotic crime scene and uncooperative witnesses, were able to build a solid case.
They exhausted numerous evidentiary avenues, which included using: firearm tool mark evidence, text messaging records, fingerprints, social media, cell-phone tracking technology, jail phone call recordings, and video surveillance.
“This startling shootout in broad daylight at a shopping mall coalesced law enforcement and the community in South King County to take a stand against gang violence,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.
Last week, the court accepted guilty pleas from the two remaining defendants, Isai Hernandez and James Lopez, for their involvement in the shooting. Hernandez pled guilty to a charge of Drive-By Shooting and Lopez pled to a charge of Rendering Criminal Assistance in the First Degree. In all, six defendants pleaded guilty and one was convicted at trial. Here’s a summary of the charges: Learn more . . .
PAO’s Annual Food Frenzy Drive Raises $11,600 for Food Lifeline
and Wins Public Sector Title for 9th Year in a Row
The PAO completed its annual two-week fundraising project in July called Food Frenzy, which raised $11,600 for Food Lifeline which equals last year’s total. The money will provide 46,400 meals for hungry children. Food Frenzy is a “friendly” competition between law, accounting and engineering firms with the goal of feeding children during the summer months when food bank shelves aren’t well stocked and school lunch programs aren’t running.
The PAO has again won the competition in the Public Sector category for 2014 and has won in that category for the past nine years.
Employees participate in many fundraising projects including cooking & bake sales, softball and bowling tournaments, a pie baking contest, a silent auction for gift baskets, a spaghetti luncheon, raffles and Dress Down for a Cause. The Food Frenzy competition fielded a new event this year, a dunk tank. Employees could vote for co-workers and have them dunked into a lot of cold water.
The event was called “Make a Splash to Fight Hunger.”
Some volunteered for the event. Contestants paid $2 per throw, and if the ball hit the target, someone got dunked into 900 gallons of cold water, all for a good cause. Learn more . . .
Dan Satterberg was dunked several times in the Dunk Tank
Competition. The event was called “Make a Splash to Fight Hunger.”
PAO Team Participates in Refuse To Abuse 5K Run
The PAO’s Domestic Violence Unit joined in the Refuse to Abuse 5k Run/Walk in July hosted by the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field to benefit the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The event raised awareness and over $107,000 to prevent domestic violence.
The PAO Domestic Violence Unit team raised just over $2,000. The team handily won the friendly fundraising competition with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Refuse to Abuse 5k and our PAO team organizers Gabby Charlton, Charles Sherer, and Dave Ryan.
PAO team photo in the Refuse to Abuse 5K
The PAO’s Partners in the Community
The PAO is working with King County TV to produce an ongoing series called “Prosecutor’s Partners,” which features people and organizations that are making a difference in King County. In this segment, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg interviews two representatives of Columbia Legal Services, Executive Director Aurora Martin, and staff attorney for Columbia, Merf Ehman. For the past 50 years, Columbia Legal Services has been providing legal services to the poor, but has also been advocating for changes in our community and for changes in our laws and criminal justice system, making it work better for everyone.
Click here to watch the 13 minute video. (external link to You Tube)
Community & Speaking Events
Dan Satterberg enjoys attending and speaking at community events.
In July, Dan emceed at:
If you would like to invite Dan or someone from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office to speak to your organization, please email the office at this link Prosecuting Attorney.