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Prosecutors decline to file charges in Kent produce stand shooting
King County prosecutors decided against filing any charges against a Kent property owner who in October shot and killed a burglar inside his Frager Road produce stand.
There are no criminal charges in this matter, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He said the case was declined earlier this year as legally insufficient.
An investigation by King County Sheriff's Office detectives and county prosecutors determined the 64-year-old property owner had, "implicit and explicit fear for his safety just before firing his gun," according to decline documents obtained by the Kent Reporter through a public disclosure request.
Detectives never arrested the property owner who shot and killed Pablo Young, 19, after Young and Dylan M. Taylor, 21, broke into the Frager Farm Stand office in the 25100 block of Frager Road South, just outside the city of Kent limits.
Young died from a shotgun wound to the chest. Taylor pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and served a 63-day jail sentence, Donohoe said.
In order to charge the property owner with the shooting death of Young, the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when the property owner shot Young, he did not reasonably believe that he was about to be injured or that the force he used was more than a reasonable person would have used in the same situation.
"Under the facts of this case, the prosecuting cannot meet this burden," according to the decline documents.
According to charging papers against Taylor, Young and Taylor initially kicked in a door to enter the indoor fruit and produce sales area around 10:30 p.m. on 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. on 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 Sheriff's Office 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.
The property owner told detectives he had numerous break-ins at the business. He said the fact the men returned later the same night and broke into his office with his dog inside led him to believe they could be armed and dangerous and a threat to his life. When one of the men did not heed his warning to stay in the office, he was fearful he was about to suffer harm.
Taylor told detectives that he, Young and a third man had used methamphetamine by a nearby bridge prior to two of the men going to the produce stand. They thought they would find food at the stand. A meth pipe fell out of Young's pocket after he was shot.