Man who made deal with state in old gang killing gets credit for time served

A former Tacoma gang member who turned state’s evidence in a 26-year-old murder case was sentenced Friday to credit for time served after striking a bargain with Pierce County prosecutors.

Darrell M. Lee, 46, originally was charged with first-degree murder and drive-by shooting in the 1988 death of Bernard Houston, 17. Prosecutors agreed to drop the murder charge if Lee testified against his co-defendants at trial.

Lee held up his end, and on Friday prosecutors recommended he be sentenced to the 493 days he served in jail since he was charged in the case.

Lee was not released, though. He will be sent back to state prison where he’s serving time for another crime.

Five men in all were charged in Houston’s death, thought to be the first tied to the crack cocaine trade that plagued Tacoma in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Two men were convicted of murder in the case earlier this year and sentenced to more than 27 years in prison. Two others entered deals similar to Lee’s. One of them awaits sentencing.

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