A man was shot dead in a Bonney Lake garage last week, but none of the four people tied to the slaying will face a murder charge.
It started with a plan by two men to rob some acquaintances of prescription drugs and ended with one of the men, 26-year-old Donald Thomas, being fatally shot.
On Monday, Thomas cohort, 20-year-old Colton Elliot Geeson, pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery. The three people who lived in the duplex that was robbed Job Mitchell Edwards, 33; Michael Allen Edwards, 35; and Krystal Lee Frietas, 32 each pleaded not guilty to first-degree kidnapping and felony harassment.
Bail was set at $250,000 for the Edwards brothers and $150,000 for Geeson.
Pierce County prosecutors said more charges might follow but murder probably will not be among them.
By all accounts, it appears they were engaging in self-defense in their own home when the robber got shot and killed, Deputy Prosecutor Phil Sorensen said.
Geeson will not face a murder charge because he allegedly was committing a crime with Thomas and cant be held responsible for his death.
The Edwards brothers shot Thomas after a struggle broke out Thursday in their home in the 9200 block of 75th Street East, prosecutors said.
It is unknown how many times Thomas was struck but investigators found seven casings from a .40-caliber handgun and one from a 12-gauge shotgun. A second shotgun, a second .40-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun were found in the duplex but did not appear to have been fired the day of Thomas death.
According to charging documents:
Thomas and Geeson went to the duplex planning to rob Frietas and the Edwards brothers of their drugs. Once inside the garage, Thomas pulled out a gun and struggled with Michael Edwards. He took the gun away from Thomas, who tried to run down the stairs.
Job Edwards, summoned by his brothers cry for help and the yell of an intruder, grabbed a handgun and came face to face with Thomas as he tried to escape. After seeing Thomas raise his hands, Job Edwards fired five or six times.
In the meantime, Michael Edwards ran to his bedroom, grabbed a shotgun and shot Thomas.
The brothers then held Geeson captive at gunpoint for more than 15 minutes and threatened to kill him. They ordered him to drive his car into the garage and load Thomas body into the vehicle.
As the garage door was closing, Gleeson managed to slip beneath it and escape. He called 911.
Police arrested the Edwards brothers at the home. Frietas surrendered after several minutes of police demanding she come outside.
Frietas, who was dating Michael Edwards, told police Thomas pulled a gun on her boyfriend and fired several times. She denied seeing Michael Edwards with a weapon but said she heard gunshots coming from the stairway.
After the shooting, prosecutors said, she loaded unknown evidence into a car and drove it to a nearby apartment complex, where she left it. Police later recovered the car.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653