A 32-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he participated in the 2012 death of a man mistakenly shot during a murder-for-hire plot gone awry.
Pierce County prosecutors charged Ray Steven Turner with one count each of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and attempted first-degree robbery. His bail was set at $1 million.
Turner was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Pierce County Jail.
Prosecutors allege in charging documents that Turner and four others conspired to kill Juan Hidalgo-Mendoza in Nov. 12, 2012. The men instead shot and killed Hildalgo-Mendoza’s roommate and cousin, Jaime Diaz-Solis, court records show.
The attack reportedly was ordered by Willaim Alvarez Calo, a local drug dealer who saw Hildalgo-Mendoza as a rival, the records show.
Witnesses told investigators Turner took part in planning the attempted hit and was with a group of men who left for Hildalgo-Mendoza’s apartment shortly before Diaz-Solis, 32, was killed, the records show.
Three others – Alvarez Calo, Mazzar Robinson and Robert Leon Smith Jr. – have been charged with murder and other counts in the case. They’ve pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
A fifth man might be charged in the case.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644