There are no changes planned so far in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office decision on charging a 15-year-old SeaTac girl in Juvenile Court rather than adult court.
A spokesperson for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says it is aware that the King County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information about a possible second hit-and-run incident that may have involved the same SeaTac girl it has charged with murder in another hit-and-run.
“The King County Sheriff Office’s investigation is currently ongoing,” said Douglas Wagoner, spokesperson for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in an Sept. 21 email in response to a letter from King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn requesting the office to review the case and charges in light of the latest investigation. “Accordingly, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has not received the completed investigation materials necessary to determine if sufficient evidence exists to make a charging decision in this second investigation.
“If that information and evidence is referred to us by law enforcement, we will carefully review it to determine if additional charges are appropriate.”
The SeaTac teen has been charged with second-degree murder and felony hit-and-run for the death of Gregory Moore, 53, who was jogging in July in Maple Valley when a vehicle struck and killed him. Sheriff’s Office detectives are seeking information about a potential second man who might have been struck and injured a day earlier than Moore by the same Toyota Camry in the SeaTac or Des Moines area.
“This juvenile was 15 years old at the time of the offense for which she was charged,” Wagoner said. “She has no prior arrests or criminal history. The laws of our state presume that a child this age must be prosecuted in juvenile court.
“The only legal mechanism for having this girl tried as an adult would be for a judge to make very specific legal determinations (commonly referred to as the Kent factors, based on the last name of a juvenile in a 1966 Washington, D.C., court case). Those eight factors determine what a court must find in order to move a case from juvenile to adult court. As it stands, the facts and circumstances of this case do not legally support her transfer to adult court.
“In other words, based on what we know now, our decision-making has not changed from what we have already shared publicly and with the media.”
The girl is still in custody, and the next court date in the case is a case setting hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle.