Crime

Jury finds man guilty of murder in 2014 Tacoma shooting

A jury decided Thursday that Vernon Lewis Curry Jr. fatally shot Michael Ward Jr., but it’s not clear why.

Jurors convicted Curry of first-degree murder and unlawful gun possession; sentencing is scheduled for June 3.

Pierce County prosecutors argued at trial that on Sept. 7, 2014, Curry, 34, walked up to Ward’s parked vehicle in the 3800 block of South Yakima Avenue and fired seven shots, striking him in his arm and torso.

Near the scene officers found a ski mask that had Curry’s DNA on the inside front. His DNA was on file because of a previous felony conviction.

Curry argued during the trial that tests suggested another person’s DNA was on the outside of the mask.

He also said he had an alibi, that he was asleep at home with his girlfriend. She testified that this was the case.

After the shooting, prosecutors said, phone records showed Curry searched the Web for reports of the crime.

Ward and Curry knew each other from growing up, deputy prosecutor Neil Horibe said after the trial, but it’s not clear what led to the shooting.

“No concrete motive was ever determined,” he said.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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