Two teenagers pleaded not guilty to murder charges Wednesday in the death of a Lakewood man killed in an apparent robbery. A third was arrested and is expected to be arraigned today in Pierce County Superior Court.
Javon Holden, 20, died in his apartment before dawn Tuesday after being shot in the head, according to charging papers filed Wednesday against James LaRon Ellis, 18, and Christopher Daniel Holt Jr., 17
Ellis is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm in the case. Prosecutors also filed a charge of second-degree murder against Ellis to give jurors an option should the case go to trial.
Prosecutors allege Ellis shot Holden in his home in the 6600 block of 150th Street Southwest. Superior Court Judge Susan Serko ordered Ellis jailed Wednesday in lieu of $2 million bond at the request of deputy prosecutor Kimberly DeMarco, who said the teen has a criminal record and should be considered a flight risk.
Holt is charged with first-degree murder in the case. Prosecutors also charged him with second-degree murder to keep their options open. Serko ordered him held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Nathan Alan Dysert, 19, surrendered to police Wednesday, Lakewood police Sgt. Mike Zaro said. A warrant authorizing his arrest charges him with first-degree murder and second-degree murder in Holdens death.
Prosecutors contend in charging papers that Holt and Dysert accompanied Ellis to the victims house to rob him. Police said they talked to witnesses who heard the three discussing robbing someone shortly before Holden was attacked, according to court papers.
Holden, who apparently knew his attackers, let the trio into his apartment after they knocked on the door, a woman who was in the house with Holden at the time told police.
Once inside, the three demanded drugs and money from Holden then start beating him, according to the charging documents.
At one point, Ellis pulled out a silver pistol with electrical tape around the handle and fired one shot into Holdens head, the charging documents state.
Ellis then pointed the gun at the woman, stared at her for a couple of seconds, then lowered the gun and ran, according to the court records.
Police later found Holt hiding under a nearby car. They sent a police dog after him when he refused to come out, according to court records. The dog bit him, the records state, and he showed up in court Wednesday in a wheelchair.
Holt told police he helped beat Holden but was so shocked by the shooting that he vomited inside the apartment, according to charging papers.
Ellis, arrested Tuesday in the Graham area, denied planning to rob Holden when he and the other two went to the apartment. He said he intended to settle some problems he had with Holden and anticipated he might have to fight him, the court records state.
Ellis said he pulled out his gun only when he thought Holden was trying to get to a closet where Ellis believed a gun was kept, according to the charging papers. Police did not find a gun in the apartment, the documents state.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 blogs.thenewstribune.com/crime