Man charged in shooting death of car-theft suspect near Frederickson

Staff writerFebruary 21, 2014 

A man fatally shot near Frederickson last weekend thought he was coming to sell heroin and didn’t know he was being set up for allegedly stealing a car in Auburn, according to court documents.

The ruse lured Robert Wade to parking lot near Canyon Road East and 176th Street East, where he was shot in the head. The shooter fled and remains on the loose.

Pierce County prosecutors on Friday charged a man accused of setting up the drug deal so a group could jump Ward, 24, in retaliation for Ward allegedly stealing a car out of Auburn.

Nathan Stevenson, 25, pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $2 million.

Charging papers give this account:

Deputies were called to the parking lot in Frederickson Sunday night after passersby called 911 to report that a truck and a sedan were speeding in the area.

When they arrived, they found Ward slumped in the front seat of a stolen 2009 Toyota Corolla that had crashed. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

A handgun was found under the driver’s seat. Two passengers believed to have been in the car with Ward fled before deputies arrived but were eventually identified.

They told investigators they had gone to Frederickson to buy heroin, a deal allegedly arranged by Stevenson.

Stevenson admitted to arranging the deal as a ruse to get Ward to that spot so he could “be assaulted and the car taken back by the owner, or by others representing the owner.”

He claimed not to have been present at the time of the shooting.

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