TACOMA — An 18-year-old wanted for a murder three years ago in Tacoma was extradited from Mexico to Pierce County recently, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office announced Monday.
Naitaalii Toleafoe was arrested in Mexico and made his first appearance in Pierce County Court Monday. The hearing was to determine if Toleafoe, who was 15 at the time of the alleged murder, will be tried as a juvenile or an adult.
According to prosecutors, Toleafoe was a member of the Eastside Lokotes Surenos street gang. He is accused of murdering Juan Zuniga and shooting another man in May 2010. Eastside Lokotes gang members have been linked to three different murders occurring in 2010, officials said, including the drive-by shooting of Camille and Joshua Love and the robbery-murder of Jose Lucas.
Prosecutors are pushing to try Toleafoe as an adult.
“This was a violent, adult-style, gang crime and we will be seeking to prosecute the defendant as an adult because of the longer sentences in the adult system,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. “If tried as a juvenile, the defendant would only be facing three years in custody, which would not be justice.”