Fifth man pleads not guilty in 2012 Lakewood homicide

Staff writerNovember 25, 2013 

A 29-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to participating in a 2012 murder plot that targeted one man but ended in the death of another in Lakewood.

Judge Bryan Chushcoff ordered Jiffary Alexander Mendez jailed in lieu of $1 million bail during Mendez's arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court. 

Mendez is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery in the death of Jaime Diaz-Solis.

Diaz-Solis was gunned down at a Lakewood apartment Nov. 12, 2012. Prosecutors contend Mendez and four others conspired to kill Diaz-Solis' roommate and cousin, who they believed was a rival drug dealer but shot Diaz-Solis instead.

The four other men have been arrested and pleaded not guilty.

Mendez remained at large until early Sunday when Lakewood police spotted him in a stolen car, Lt. Chris Lawler said.

Mendez sped off but officers caught up to him when the car broke down, Lawler said.

The defendant allegedly fought with officers but was taken into custody and booked into jail. Mendez also is charged with a number of other crimes in unrelated cases.


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