Did Marty Kime fatally shoot a 1-year-old baby girl in Kent more than three years ago while targeting her father as part of a gang retaliation killing?
Or was the baby girl shot by another gang member in a different vehicle than Kime?
A King County Superior Court jury will hear testimony and look at evidence over the next several weeks to determine whether Kime shot and killed Malijah Grant as she rode in a car seat in the backseat of her parents’ car on the later afternoon of April 16, 2015, near Reith Road and Lake Fenwick Road. Grant was shot once in the head and died two days later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The trial for Kime, 27, charged with second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault for firing shots at the baby’s parents (who were not injured), began Monday at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Jurors were told the trial could last until the end of November.
“The evidence of Marty Kime’s guilt doesn’t come from one witness or one piece of evidence,” Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Adrienne McCoy told the jury during her opening statement. “It comes from multiple places. Listening to it will take a lot of work. …you will be convicting him based upon objective evidence that collaborates witness testimony and convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt.”
If convicted as charged for the murder and assaults, Kime could face a sentence range of 41-54 years in prison, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
McCoy described to the jury how Kime is a Low Profile gang member and wanted to avenge the killing of close friend and fellow gang member John Williams, fatally shot in March 2015 in Seattle. Kent Police detectives claimed that Kime fired at the car because inside of it was Martrice Grant-Walker, the baby’s father, and a member of Deuce 8, a rival Seattle-area gang of Low Profile.
Lisa Lynch, the mother of Malijah, drove her car with Walker in the passenger seat. They had picked up Malijah at her babysitter’s home and stopped at the Safeway in the Kent Valley before heading home.
“The state does not allege that the defendant planned to kill baby Malijah or intended to kill baby Malijah,” McCoy said. “The state will prove that the defendant in the course of committing three others crimes – drive-by shooting and assault in the first degree trying to shoot Martrice and assault trying to shoot Lisa – that he caused Malijah’s death and that he did so with a firearm. It’s called felony murder.”
Kent Police have not found the gun used in the shooting. But an eight-month investigation after the shooting that involved 46 search warrants, the review of approximately 71,000 social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat), a detective’s narrative of more than 1,000 pages, 213 witness interviews and more than 110,000 phone call record reviews, led police to arrest Kime.
McCoy said video surveillance from homes and businesses, cellphone records and social media sites used by Kime will show that he and another man followed Grant’s car from the Safeway, down West Meeker Street and up Reith Road. Kime then allegedly fired shots at the vehicle, firing two shots from a short distance away and then six more shots from closer range before speeding away.
Detectives matched shell casings found at the shooting scene near the intersection of Lake Fenwick Road and Reith Road to a gun that Kime posed with in a cellphone photo. They also claim Kime was in a a dark blue 2014 Chevrolet Cruze that he had borrowed from a friend earlier in the day before the shooting. Police claimed a second man was with Kime in the car, but no other arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.
“The defendant’s accomplice is not charged – yet,” McCoy said. “But this is not the accomplice’s trial. This is the trial for the charges against Marty Kime.”
Defense says wrong man charged
Defense attorney Lisa Mulligan told the jury during her opening statement that detectives arrested the wrong man for killing Malijah Grant. Mulligan claims another Low Profile gang member riding with another man in a blue Audi fatally shot the baby and that her death had nothing to do with the vehicle Kime was in.
“He had motive, he had the murder weapon and he had a big mouth,” said Mulligan who added the young man – 16 at the time of the shooting – told others he shot the baby, and he had another gang member assist him in the killing. “Together these two committed a heinous crime. And together these two are about to literally get away with murder.”
Mulligan said prosecutors have no video footage of the shooting, no eyewitness identifications of the suspect and no confession.
“Instead what you have are a whole lot of people who wanted revenge for John Williams death,” she said. “And you have numerous people with access to the guns and ammunition in the case. And there is circumstantial evidence that could support a theory of innocence just as easy as it supports a theory of guilt.
“At the end of this case, we believe you will conclude that the state simply does not have enough solid, credible evidence to prove their case.”
Mulligan said the two men – who she named – were involved in a Seattle shooting in Deuce 8 territory the night before the shooting of Malijah Grant. She said they were in Kent the next day and fired at the baby’s father. She claimed their Audi wasn’t caught on video from a nearby home because it went a different direction.
She said videos of Kime’s borrowed vehicle following the car containing the baby’s father doesn’t point out all the details that prosecutors claim when it went through a Safeway parking lot and parked at a nearby Brown Bear car wash.
“Everyone wants justice for Malijah,” Mulligan said. “But letting her real killers walk free and convicting the wrong person is not justice. Marty Kime is the wrong person.”