Four people are in custody and a bench warrant has been issued for a fifth in the death of a Lakewood man whose body was found outside a vacant Graham home.
Dean Barker had been bound and beaten before his body was found at a vacant home for sale in Graham on September 8. Authorities believe Barker was kidnapped and robbed before he was killed.
In court on Monday, William Barry led a parade of people accused of murdering Dean Barker. Barker's body was found dumped outside this vacant graham home three weeks ago. One defendant says Barry claims his three year old daughter was molested by Barker - a possible motive for murder.
“At this point we don't know if this is a case of vigilante revenge or if stories about the sexual assault are just a cover story,” said Mark Lindquist, Pierce County Prosecutor.
Also in court were Justin Mahaffey and Angela King, both accused of being involved in the murder. King's possible motive - a claim that Barker sexually assaulted her.
“Why wait until weeks after the alleged sexual assault? Why take the victim’s watch? Why steal the victims money, and why mark the victim’s body with a red bandana, which tends to associate the murder with gang violence?” said Lindquist.
Mahaffey claims to be a member of a gang, and allegedly played a role in the kidnapping and the beating.
A fourth defendant was in court last week. On Monday her grandfather was in court to see who his granddaughter got involved with.
“She's just hanging around the wrong people,” said Tom Birch.
Birch says his granddaughter, who could be tried as an adult, wasn't at the scene where the body was dumped. He said she's involved with these people, but didn't commit the crime.
“Why they decided to take the guy’s life, I don't know,” he said.
Prosecutors say they have no idea whether the claims of sexual assault and sexual molestation have anything to do with the killing.
They are searching for Jeffrey Wayne Powell II. They say he has a long criminal history and one of the defendants said the last time she saw Dean Barker alive, it was with Powell at the scene where Barker's body was found.