Courtesy Photo, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department

Courtesy Photo, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department

Kent man found not guilty in murder case faces new charges

King County case over; Pierce County prosecutors charge him with robbery, kidnapping, assault

A Kent man found not guilty of murder by a King County jury last month now faces several charges in Pierce County from a case put on hold during the homicide investigation.

Darian Dion Downing, 29, is charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and theft of a firearm for a June 15, 2020 case that involved his then girlfriend, according to Pierce County Superior Court charging documents.

A King County Superior Court jury on Jan. 24 found Downing not guilty in the March 30, 2021 fatal shooting in Kent of Marcus Golden, 28, at the Mosaic Hills Apartments, 10811 SE 239th Place, now known as The Groves Apartments.

The jury ruled Downing acted in self-defense when Golden went up the outside stairs toward the apartment where Downing and his girlfriend were arguing.The jury was told that Golden wore brass knuckles and carried a tire plug insertion tool, according to James Curtis, the Tukwila-based attorney for Downing.

King County prosecutors alleged that Downing shot Golden after an attempt to intervene in a domestic dispute between Downing and his girlfriend.

“We were disappointed in the outcome, but we respect the jury’s decision,” said a King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson in a Feb. 1 email.

Meanwhile, as of the afternoon of Feb. 3, Downing remained in custody at the Pierce County jail in Tacoma, according to jail records. He was booked into jail Jan. 30.

Curtis said that Downing recently retained him as attorney on the Pierce County case.

“Mr. Downing is currently being held on $100,000 bail,” Curtis said in a Feb. 2 email. “We expect to post bond soon. Because I was recently retained, I am in the process of reviewing the evidence in this case.”

Pierce County prosecutors allege that Downing got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend (not the same woman in the Kent case) on June 14, 2020. He locked his girlfriend out of the master bedroom for the night, according to a report by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

The next day, the girlfriend knocked on the bedroom door to get in for some personal items. She went into the bathroom and Downing followed her and locked the door, according to court documents.

The girlfriend requested to leave but Downing reportedly blocked the door and then grabbed her by the forearms and pushed her against the sink to stop her from leaving. He only allowed her to leave when she promised to give him $500 out of her bank account, money that Downing said he should be reimbursed for.

The girlfriend then went downstairs and got on her cellphone and her bank account to make the transfer. Downing followed her downstairs, snatched her phone, sweatshirt and fanny pack from her claiming he purchased them so they belonged to him

While the girlfriend held a firearm in her hand, Downing allegedly grabbed the gun and fired a bullet into the couch about 3 feet from her. The woman then yelled for her two children and fled the house with them. She went to a police station to file a report.

Two days later, law enforcement went to the house to contact the woman. It was determined that Downing was in the house and refused to come out. A SWAT negotiator came to the scene and was able to convince Downing to come out.

Downing reportedly told detectives that he started getting drunk and everything with his girlfriend was an accident. Detectives searched the residence and found multiple bullet holes throughout that had apparently been caused since the reported assault on June 15, 2020.

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