Man charged in 1991 Tacoma homicide

Staff writerDecember 31, 2013 

A 51-year-old man, Michael Schaef, has been booked into the Pierce County Jail on a charge he murdered an acquaintance some 23 years ago during a drug deal.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Schaef with first-degree murder in the May 6, 1991, death of 28-year-old Jerald Iafrati.

Schaef runs the upstairs marijuana bar at the Stonegate and owns a medial marijuana dispensary called GreenLight Expo. He was awaiting arraignment Wednesday in the Pierce County Jail.

Although Schaef was a suspect in 2001, detectives were unable to arrest him after his now ex-wife, Nicole Wyatt, recanted on her statements that Schaef was involved. Wyatt was interviewed again in November and told Tacoma police detectives that Schaef shot the victim as he sat in a parked car, prosecutors said. Wyatt allegedly helped broker a drug deal between Schaef and Iafrati and his girlfriend, who was known to carry large amounts of cash.

Schaef and an unknown man met the couple in the 900 block of North Sheridan Street and robbed them, court records say. Iafrati was shot as his girlfriend tried to escape, driving the car a short distance before she was pulled from the vehicle.

The men then fled. Schaef later returned home with cash he’d stolen from the victims, prosecutors said.

Iafrati’s girlfriend drove him to Tacoma General Hospital, where he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Wyatt and Schaef were arrested shortly thereafter on drug charges after investigators uncovered a marijuana grow in their home. Neither was arrested initially in connection with the shooting.

Prosecutors said more charges could be filed in the future.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
Stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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