OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two men under arrest are accused of killing an 18-year-old man who police said planned to turn them in for crimes committed across Thurston County.
Police tell us all three men involved in the case had only recently moved to the area.
Both of the suspects were supposed to face a judge on Thursday afternoon but one of them refused to leave his jail cell.
A Thurston County judge denied bail for 29-year-old Vincent Garlock because his alleged crime of murder is a capital offence. But his alleged partner in crime, 31-year-old Johnathan Bartosek, refused to leave his cell. The judge was not pleased, telling sheriff’s deputies to make sure he makes it to court on Friday.
The case began last week when someone called 911 to report a body near a Capitol State Forest campground. Police discovered the man with multiple gunshot wounds, but he had no identification on his person. Detectives then released a sketch of the man, and days later officials identified the victim as 18-year-old Dakota Walker, 18, of Los Angeles.
“Within three days’ time we brought this case to a close,” said Detective Cameron Simper with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
This week, police arrested Bartosek and Garlock, accusing them of murdering Walker because the teenager planned on turning them in to police. Instead investigators believe Bartosek and Garlock lured Walker into the woods and killed him.
“I believe he was taken up there unknowing and was subsequently executed,” said Simper.
Police also believe Walker and Bartosek had a domestic relationship together and that the teenager wanted out.
“Frankly sick of the lifestyle he was living, he was sick of committing these crimes,” said Simper. “In fact he wanted out of these crimes and the relationship he was in, it was volatile, he wanted out of it all together.”
Detectives said the three had been working together burglarizing homes and stealing mail across Thurston County. But Simper said Walker planned to share evidence incriminating his accomplices.
“It is believed that he was going to come forward and bring this info forward to law enforcement to escape the relationship and he was murdered to cover up those crimes,” said Simper.
Police said both the suspects admitted to being present at the time of the shooting, but they blame each other for pulling the trigger. Both could face murder charges.