News

Four charged with murder in robbery attempt of Skyway man; read the documents

Four people, including a 16-year-old girl, were charged Monday with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Skyway man Sept. 7.

Herman Tucker, 47, was shot and killed at the SeaTac Motel 6 in the 20600 block of Military Road South at about 3 a.m., according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

Evidence is partly drawn from text messages that investigators and prosecutors indicated the four were planning to rob Tucker.

Charged are Kavahn Elijah Matthews-Smith, 19, Qiantre Jamiel Taylor, 19, of Skyway, Earnetra Shalia Turner, 16, of Seattle and Rodney Lee Willis, 19, of Seattle. Turner, who was arrested on Sept. 19, was charged as an adult.

They also were charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery when armed with a firearm.

Matthews-Smith, whose residence wasn't indicated in court documents, turned himself in Monday night, the last of the four to be taken into custody.

Taylor and Willis are being held on $2 million bail; Matthews-Smith and Turner are being held on $1 million bail each.

The four will be arraigned at 9 a.m. Oct. 8 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Witnesses indicated to detectives that they saw Tucker enter a room at the Motel 6 and then heard an argument and a gunshot, according to charging documents. Tucker stumbled from the room; four people were seen fleeing the room.

Tucker collapsed on the balcony; he had a gunshot wound to his chest and one to his left hand from either a .32 or .38 caliber handgun. His death was ruled a homicide. When he died, Tucker had three large, apparently gold rings on his hand, according to charging documents. There were seven $100 bills in his wallet and $234 in cash was found in the pants on a dresser. A gold necklace Tucker was reported wearing earlier in the evening wasn't found.

Part of the investigation looked at an exchange of numerous text messages between Tucker and Turner starting at about 8:45 p.m. on Sept. 6. They wrote about meeting later that night. The last text message was sent at 11:55 p.m., when Turner gave Tucker an address where she was staying.

Two minutes later, Turner texted her brother and co-defendant, Rodney Lee Willis. The continuing exchange was consistent with arranging to rob Tucker, according to charging documents.

At 1:47 a.m., Turner texted her brother the address for the Motel 6. Willis texted back, "Yeah we comin." A minute later Turner texts again, "He ain't here."

At 2:14 a.m., text messages between Tucker and Turner, who is now using a Samsung cell phone which only can be used for text messages under its service plan.

In the texts Tucker initially sounds reluctant to meet. But at 2:58 a.m. Tucker texts that he's outside. The first 911 call was made at 3:02 a.m.

Detectives used phone records to also help them identify the other two defendants in the case,  according to court documents.

According to the documents, as they drove away from the Motel 6 Taylor and Matthews were yelling at Willis, "Why did you shoot him? Why did you shoot him?" Willis told them to shut up.

According to court documents, Willis and Taylor on Sept. 6 talked with associates about a "skin down" they planned for later that night. A "skin down" is a robbery.

Our Mobile Apps

Community Events, April 2014

Add an Event
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 11 edition online now. Browse the archives.