A Tacoma man who fled to Mexico nine years ago after being charged in a fatal drive-by shooting has been brought back to Pierce County to stand trial.
Gabriel Indelicio Nevarez, 28, was arrested in Michoacan, Mexico, in February and transferred to Mexico City. FBI agents then escorted the U.S. citizen to Washington.
He appeared in court Friday for charges of first-degree murder, first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in the Feb. 21, 2007, shooting death of Kyle Grinnell.
Former Pierce County Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner, filling in on a temporary basis, ordered Nevarez held without bail, as he undergoes an evaluation to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial.
Nevarez was 18 when he allegedly gunned down Grinnell, 21, as Grinnell power-washed the walk outside his apartment in the 5000 block of South Tyler Street.
Police said Grinnell was standing by one of his friends, the man Nevarez intended to kill. That man was not hit.
A woman who regularly bought methamphetamine from Nevarez and led him to Grinnell’s friend in hopes of currying favor from her drug supplier pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to commit drive-by shooting.
Windy Michelle Ware was sentenced to two years, five months in prison. She was released in 2010.
There was bad blood between Nevarez and the man he intended to shoot. The man later told investigators Nevarez had tried to shoot him before.
Ware was aware of the grudge. When Nevarez called her to discuss a drug deal, she asked if he was still looking for the man, met Nevarez at a restaurant and told him to follow her to a home where she’d seen the man.
When Nevarez pulled up alongside the house in a Cadillac, he pointed a gun at the man and Grinnell and opened fire, according to charging papers.
Grinnell was hit and later died of his wounds.
A witness who was behind the Cadillac wrote down the license plate, and detectives tracked the car to one of Nevarez’s relatives.
A cold case team continued working the case over the years and eventually discovered Nevarez was living in Mexico.
This isn’t the first shooting Nevarez has been charged with. In 2004, he was charged with a shooting at a Tacoma school where a girl was hit in the leg. Nevarez was eventually found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was released after six months in a community-based program.
Grinnell was fatally shot two weeks later.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653