Kent Police make two arrests in fatal shooting at motel | Update

One man charged is a 3-strikes felon who was sentenced to life in prison but released early

  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:32am
  • News

Kent Police have arrested two men in the shooting death of a man in a motel room earlier this month.

Stonney Marcus Rivers, 50, and Theneious Swafford, 47, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder of David A. Cabrera, 24, of Federal Way, according to police, in an apparent drug deal that went bad.

Rivers is a convicted felon who was sentenced to life in prison under Washington state’s three-strikes law. That sentence, however, was commuted by then-Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2013 during her final days in office. Rivers, who has extensive criminal history, was released from prison in early 2015.

Rivers was arrested and booked Nov. 11 into the King County jail in Seattle with bail denied, according to jail records. Rivers and Swafford are scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in Courtroom GA at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Swafford, who also has extensive criminal history, was under supervision by the state Department of Corrections.

On Nov. 2, at approximately 8:03 a.m., Kent patrol units responded to the Golden Kent Motel on 84th Avenue South, where witnesses reported to 911 that a man had shot another man in a room. Kent Police arrived to discover the shooter had already fled and left the scene in a silver or gray four-door sedan.

The victim, Cabrera, was found dead in the motel room, police reported. Cabrera died from a gunshot wound of the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Officers searched the area for the suspect but were unsuccessful in locating him. The suspect and believed driver of the sedan were caught on surveillance video while at the location, police said.

Investigators were able to positively identify the two male suspects involved.

The criminal history for Rivers includes second-degree robbery in 1985 and 1986, second-degree assault in 1989, second-degree robbery in 1994, first-degree robbery in 1995 and second-degree assault in 1995. A conviction in the murder of Cabrera would again subject Rivers to a sentence of life in prison without the the possibility of parole, according to charging papers.

In addition to the felony offenses, Rivers has at 21 prior misdemeanor convictions since 1988, with six of those for assault.

If convicted in this case, Swafford would suffer at least his third strike and face a possible sentence of life in prison without parole. He was convicted of second-degree assault in 1991 and first-degree robbery in 2003, according to court documents. Swafford also has 56 misdemeanor convictions since 1995, including three for fourth-degree assault.

Swafford was released from prison for his 2003 robbery conviction in April 2016.

When officers arrived at the Golden Kent Motel, they located a distraught woman in the parking lot. The woman, who was the girlfriend of Cabrera, told officers a man had entered her motel room and pointed a gun at her. Cabrera reportedly confronted the man and was shot in the face, according to court documents. Police found Cabrera lying on the motel room floor.

Rivers also was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly pointing a gun at Cabrera’s girlfriend and threatening to shoot her. After the threat, Cabrera moved toward Rivers, who then then reportedly shot him.

Detectives discovered that the twin brother of Cabrera had rented the motel room about six hours before the shooting. The twin brother left the room about two hours prior to the shooting.

Video surveillance footage from the motel reportedly showed Rivers in the parking lot, walking to the room where Cabrera stayed and leaving the room with what appears to be a gun in his hand. Rivers also allegedly left the room with a backpack that belonged to Cabrera.

Rivers told detectives that he was at the motel to get some drugs, some crystal meth. He said he went there to buy drugs and not to hurt or kill anyone and didn’t know someone was dead.

Police arrested Swafford on Nov. 15 for an outstanding state DOC warrant. During an interview with detectives, he reportedly admitted he dropped off Rivers near the Golden Kent Motel on Nov. 2.

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