An 18-year-old Auburn man pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder for allegedly shooting to death a 20-year-old man while robbing him of cash during a marijuana deal on Kent’s East Hill.
Hector Galeano Jr. entered his plea on Monday in King County Superior Court at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. He is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 26 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case. Prosecutors charged Galeano with shooting Payton Mattson on Nov. 26 in the 13100 block of Southeast 261st Place. Galeano remained in custody at the county jail in Kent with bail denied.
Mattson died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Because of Galeano’s criminal history, which includes a guilty plea at age 17 to second-degree assault for firing almost a dozen bullets on Dec. 30, 2016, into an occupied mobile home at the Cascade Mobile Villa in Kent, he faces a potential sentence of 31 to 39 years in prison, according to charging documents.
The father of Galeano helped convince his son to turn himself in. Galeano surrendered to Kent Police at the Kent Police Station and invoked his right to speak with his attorney.