Tacoma man pleads not guilty to 1991 murder

Staff writerJanuary 2, 2014 

A Tacoma man was ordered jailed on $1 million bail Thursday after pleading not guilty to a 1991 fatal shooting.

Michael Schaef, 51, was arrested Wednesday, a day after Pierce County prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder for the May 6, 1991, death of Jerald Iafrati, 28.

Charging papers give this account:

Schaef and an unknown man robbed Iafrati and his girlfriend while they sat in a parked car on North Sheridan Street. Schaef’s now ex-wife allegedly arranged for them to meet so Schaef could sell the couple marijuana.

Instead, they’re accused of taking thousands in cash and shooting Iafrati once in the chest during a struggle.

Tacoma police detectives got a break in the case in November after Schaef’s ex-wife agreed to talk to them and told them Schaef had been involved in the fatal shooting.

“There are basically two ways cold cases are solved,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “The first is DNA, and second is people talk.”

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

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