- About Us
Prosecutors file murder charge against man accused of shooting Devin Topps in Kent
King County prosecutors filed second-degree murder charges Thursday against a 20-year-old man in connection with the shooting death of Devin Topps last Halloween at a party in Kent.
Jorge Luis Lizarraga pleaded not guilty to the murder charge at his arraignment Thursday at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He remains in custody at the Regional Justice Center on $1.8 million bail.
Topps, 18, was a former student-athlete at Kentridge High School.
Lizarraga has been in custody since Dec. 21 when Kent Police tracked him down at a SeaTac 7-Eleven store at South 194th Street and International Boulevard.
Kent detectives received a tip Dec. 21 that Lizarraga was staying at the King's Arms Motel, 23226 30th Ave. S., in Des Moines and allegedly had a handgun that he kept in the room, according to charging papers.
Prosecutors did not charge Lizarraga with murder in December but took him into custody for several other charges. He entered pleas of not guilty Jan. 5 in Kent to first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, vehicular assault, felony hit and run, residential burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of methamphetamine. He also faces charges of third-degree rape of a child, communication with a minor for immoral purposes and possession of methamphetamine.
Lizarraga is scheduled to return to court April 28 for a status hearing.
According to court documents, Topps left a Halloween party at about 2 a.m. at a home in the 20200 block of 92nd Avenue South in northeast Kent. Topps walked out with other partygoers and encountered a group of males standing in the street outside the home.
Witnesses told detectives that Topps got into a fight with another man after a verbal altercation. Lizarraga saw the fight and allegedly pulled out a gun, fired three shots into the air and then walked toward Topps and shot him once in the back as Topps fought with another man on the ground.
Topps died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the back, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.
Detectives interviewed numerous witnesses from the Halloween party in an effort to find the shooter.
When detectives searched the motel room where Lizarraga had stayed for about three weeks with a girlfriend, they found a Heckler & Koch .40-caliber handgun as well as ammunition for the ugun. The gun had been stolen just four days before the shooting during a residential burglary in Federal Way. Fingerprints from that burglary matched Lizarraga, according to charging papers.
State Patrol Crime Lab investigators determined that the nine casings recovered from the murder scene had been fired from the stolen gun found in Lizarraga's motel room.
When detectives tried to interview Lizarraga about the murder, he invoked his right to an attorney and did not speak with them.
Topps, who played basketball and football at Kentridge, had signed a letter of intent to play football in 2010 for Eastern Washington University, but because of grades did not enroll in the school.