Police lights (File photo)

Man, 57, charged with murder in Federal Way rock-throwing incident

A man, 33, died four days after he was struck in the head with a rock during an argument

A 57-year-old man has been charged with murder after allegedly striking another man in the head with a rock, killing him last month.

Judi Kilma was charged with second-degree murder on Oct. 5 after he was arrested days earlier. At first appearance, King County prosecutors requested $2 million bail based on the likelihood that the defendant would commit another violent offense, and a judge set bail at $250,000.

“While the State is not aware of any criminal history, the defendant’s actions, captured entirely on surveillance video, demonstrate that he is a risk to community safety when he is angry,” according to charging documents.

On Sept. 19, an unconscious 33-year-old man — identified as Joseph Lee Simmons — was dropped off at a Chevron gas station along Military Road South in Kent around 8 p.m., according to court documents.

Kent Police responded, but learned the assault occurred in a Safeway grocery store parking lot along Military Road South within Federal Way city limits, and Federal Way Police took over the investigation.

Police discovered that on the evening of Sept. 19, Simmons was reportedly seen arguing with Kilma. A witness said Simmons was telling Kilma to get away from him and gesturing with a large knife, according to court documents. The witness told police that Simmons punctured Kilma’s front bicycle tire with the same knife, which “enraged” Kilma, documents state.

Video surveillance which captured the incident shows Kilma walked away and returned moments later, allegedly retrieved a fist-sized rock from his jacket pocket, and threw it directly at Simmons, striking him on the left side of the head, as Simmons was sitting on a curb. Kilma allegedly attempted to throw a second rock but was restrained by bystanders.

The witness then drove Simmons away from the scene to the gas station in Kent where he retrieved ice for Simmons and stayed with him until first responders arrived.

Simmons was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and underwent surgery for a traumatic brain injury. He never regained consciousness and later died at Harborview on Sept. 23 as a result of his injuries.

Documents state that when police interviewed Kilma days later after his arrested, he allegedly admitted he threw the rock at Simmons because he was angry, but did not intend to kill him.

Police say both men involved are homeless. This fatality is the eighth homicide of the year in Federal Way.

Kilma’s arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 19 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.


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