Three men hired to perform chores for a Pierce County man turned on their employer last week, beating him, kicking him and breaking into his house after a dispute broke out about their wages, court records show.
The men -- Lakewood residents Gary Edwards and Corey Jones and Tacoma resident Clayton King III -- only broke off their attack when the victim's girlfriend sicced her pit bulls on them, the records state.
Edwards, 24; Jones, 30; and King, 30, on Monday all pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary during their arraignments in Pierce County Superior Court. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered them each jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail.
The defendants all have previous criminal records involving violent crimes, court records show.
Their latest brush with the law occurred Friday.
A Spanaway man told sheriff's deputies he hired the trio to mow his lawn and take some items to the dump, court records show.
When it was time to pay them, an argument broke out, and Edwards, Jones and King allegedly punched the man in the face repeatedly and began kicking him when he fell down.
The man, bleeding from the mouth by now, managed to get away and run into his house, locking the door behind him.
Edwards, Jones and King weren't finished, according to charging documents.
"The three then began kicking on windows and doors in an effort to get into the house," deputy prosecutor Jesse Williams wrote in a declaration for probable cause. "They were eventually able to kick in the front door and began assaulting (the victim) inside the house."
The man's school-age children came to their father's aid, but the girl was punched in the face and the boy pushed to the ground, the records show.
The boy, 11, got up and ran to get a knife from the kitchen, and the man's girlfriend let the family's pit bulls into the house to attack, according to the records.
"The three then fled," Williams wrote in his declaration.
Deputies interviewed neighbors who said they saw Edwards, Jones and King attack the man outside.
"The neighbors could not say what happened inside the house, but they reported it sounded like an assault," Williams wrote.
The inside of the house was torn up, with broken mirrors and glass strewn on the floor and blood on the walls, court records show.
Deputies responding to the scene spotted a truck matching the description of the one seen leaving the site of the attack and pulled it over.
The found Edwards, Jones and King inside and arrested them.
Jones, who was driving, was so intoxicated that he "swayed repeatedly and needed to lean on something to steady himself ...," court records show.