Crime

$200,000 bail for Bonney Lake man who shot at thief but killed neighbor

Linda Green’s brother described the alleged actions of Tobin Panton as “stupid.”

Pierce County Court Commissioner Meagan Foley said Panton showed an alleged “indifference to community safety or the safety of others.”

On Monday, prosecutors called the 40-year-old Bonney Lake man’s behavior criminal.

They charged him with first-degree manslaughter for allegedly taking aim and firing at a fleeing car thief outside his home last week, but instead shooting his neighbor as she slept in her house nearby.

Linda Green, 61, was shot in the head and killed.

Panton pleaded not guilty.

Deputy prosecutor Jared Ausserer asked Panton be jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail, saying his actions the night of Green’s death were reckless.

Defense attorney Lance Hester, who represented Panton for Monday’s arraignment, argued that his client should be released on his own recognizance.

Panton, Hester said, has no criminal convictions, maintains strong ties to the community and cares for his mother.

Foley acknowledged Panton’s lack of a criminal history, but said she was concerned about his alleged indifference to safety the night of the shooting. She ordered him jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail and directed him to surrender his firearms to the Sheriff’s Department should he post bail.

Several relatives and friends of Green attended Monday’s arraignment. Many wore purple to honor Green, who loved the color so much she was known to dye her hair that shade.

One of her brothers, Marvin Green, said outside court that his sister’s death has ripped a hole in his family. Linda Green served as the glue that held together the clan, he said.

“She was a giving, kind, thoughtful person,” Green said.

He tried to describe his reaction upon being in the same room with Panton.

“He was just a normal guy. He doesn’t seem too radical, looking at him,” Green said. “He’s just one guy who was stupid, did stupid stuff. I hope God and the judge will find a way to make it right, but I don’t know if anybody can.”

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam

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