A 53-year-old Kent man faces a first-degree murder charge for allegedly beating to death a 60-year-old man June 26 outside a Rainier Valley convenience store in Seattle.
Edward Motley Jr., whose last known address was Kent, is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 20 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. He remains in the county jail with bail set at $4 million. Seattle Police arrested Motley Aug. 4 at the same location as the killing, a store known as a drug abuse and violent crime area.
Wesley Benson died 13 days after the attack at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, according to charging papers filed Aug. 7 by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
“In front of a group of bystanders in a parking lot, the defendant punched the victim and knocked him to the ground,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney William Doyle in charging papers. “For a span of over 3 minutes, the defendant continued to strike and kick the victim while the victim lay on the pavement. The defendant then robbed the victim of his money, watch and other items and fled the scene.”
Motley reportedly committed the attack while on community custody warrant status for a first-degree robbery conviction. At the time of his arrest, he still had an outstanding state Department of Corrections escape warrant for not reporting after being released from prison in March.
Motley had 13 felony convictions over the last 35 years, according to charging documents. The convictions include robbery, assault, burglary and other crimes that started in 1985.
The June 26 afternoon beating occurred in the 3100 block of Rainier Avenue South, a location known to Seattle Police as a high violent crime and drug abuse area, according to the police report.
A witness told police that Benson walked out of the store and Motley motioned him to come over to where he was standing in the parking lot. Motley then reportedly began to punch and kick Benson. Detectives used video surveillance from the store to help identify Motley.
Motley told detectives he had been in the same store parking lot along Rainier Avenue South on a regular basis since his release from prison. He claimed he was a drug addict and used drugs on a daily basis. Despite looking at photos taken from video surveillance that showed him in the store parking lot on the afternoon of June 26 when the killing occurred, Motley denied any altercation with Benson or even knowing him.