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Man pleads not guilty to burglarizing Kent fruit stand; shooting death investigation continues
A 21-year-old man pleaded not guilty Thursday to second-degree burglary in connection with a break-in Oct. 2 at the Frager Farm Stand in Kent that resulted in the property owner shooting to death a second burglary suspect.
Dylan M. Taylor entered the plea in King County Superior Court in Kent and was released Thursday from the county jail on personal recognizance, said Dan Donohoe, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office spokesman. Taylor is scheduled to return to court Oct. 29 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.
Pablo Young, 19, the second man found inside the Frager Farm Stand office, died from a shotgun wound to the chest, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.
The investigation into the shooting remains open, said Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff's Office, which handled the case because it occurred just outside the Kent city limits. The 64-year-old property owner, who lives next door to the office in the 25100 block of Frager Road South, was not arrested.
"We are still waiting for forensics and conducting some interviews," West said in an email. "Once we close it on our end we will forward it to the prosecutor’s office and they will review and see if any charges (against the property owner) are warranted."
According to charging papers filed Oct. 4 against Taylor, Young and Taylor initially kicked in a door to enter the indoor fruit and produce sales area around 10:30 p.m. Oct. 1. The business office is in a separate building from the produce stand. Taylor and Young fled the produce stand minutes later because they got "spooked."
The business owner heard the initial commotion from his house next door and went to investigate. The men had fled, but he found the damaged door. He was unable to secure the door, so he locked one of his dogs inside for extra security. Nothing appeared to be missing from the stand. The man returned to his home and left his bedroom window open so he could hear if anyone returned to the fruit stand.
Later that night, at about 1:36 a.m. Oct. 2, the property owner heard his dog barking. He picked up a loaded shotgun, went outside and approached the business office, according to charging papers against Taylor.
The property owner could hear someone inside, saw the door to the office partially open and he could see someone inside. He yelled something like, "Don't come out" or "Get down!" When the door started to open, he fired his shotgun.
The owner learned more than one man was inside the office, so he called 911 from his cellphone. He kept guard at the door until deputies arrived. Deputies found Taylor inside the office, which had been ransacked. The office door had been kicked open. Deputies arrested Taylor for investigation of burglary. Deputies found Young dead inside the office from the shotgun wound.
Taylor told deputies that he and Young went to the business to find a place to stay warm. He said Young kicked in the office door and started to search through office drawers.
After a few minutes, he heard a gunshot and Young fell to the floor. Taylor said he obeyed the shooter's commands to stay inside the office until police arrived.
Taylor in a followup interview told detectives he kicked in the door during the first visit to the fruit stand. He said he tried to kick in the office door during the return visit but it didn't open so Young kicked in the door.
West said at the time of the incident both Taylor and Young might have been homeless. Taylor had a last known address in Maple Valley, according to charging papers, but also was marked on the form as homeless. Taylor was unarmed.
Taylor's criminal history includes two convictions in 2011 for second-degree criminal trespass and a pending case in Kent Municipal Court for fourth-degree assault and possession of drug paraphernalia.
About one-half hour after Taylor's release from the county jail Thursday at the Maleng Regional Justice Center, Kent Police arrested Taylor on a warrant charge for the assault and drug possession case. He remained in custody Friday at the city jail, according to jail records. Bail was set at $5,100.