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Teen shot, killed while walking in Lake Stevens

A teenage girl was shot and killed last Saturday night while walking with a group of friends in Lake Stevens.

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EVERETT – A 27-year-old Marysville man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he fatally shot 15-year-old Molly Conley in Lake Stevens on June 1 and fired into several houses and at vehicles in the area during a random shooting spree.

conley4A Snohomish County Superior Court judge set a Sept. 13 trial date for Erick N. Walker. He is being held in the Snohomish County Jail on $5 million bail.

Walker is charged with first-degree murder and four counts for drive-by shootings.

At about 11:15 p.m. on June 1, Molly was out walking with friends on South Lake Stevens Road celebrating her 15th birthday. A car drove by, a bang was heard and Molly’s friends say she dropped to her knees.  She had been shot in the neck.

Documents show molly then fell down an embankment. Her friends flagged down help and carried her back up to the street as she struggled for breath.

Police said solid detective work led them to Walker.  They believe Molly’s death was part of a random shooting spree between Lake Stevens and Marysville that June night, when Walker allegedly also rammed a parked car and fired into four homes.

Police said investigators linked the bullets in the homes and vehicles to handguns registered to Walker, as well as paint chips from his 2006 Pontiac left on the damaged vehicle.

Snohomish County prosecutor Mark Roe is not seeking the death penalty in this case, but conviction on a first-degree murder with a firearm charge carries a mandatory 25-year sentence, not counting the four other drive-by charges.

While detectives have not yet located the bullet that hit Molly, they are certain it came from Walker’s gun.

“We wouldn’t have filed the charges if we didn’t feel confident that we could prove it and that’s about as much as I’ll say.  The rest will be up to a jury,” said Roe.

walkerarrest

Erick Nathaniel Walker being arrested in Marysville on June 28, 2013.

EVERETT — A 27-year-old Marysville man was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 15-year-old Molly Conley, who was killed while walking with friends along a road in Lake Stevens June 1.

The defendant, Erick Nathanial Walker, was also charged with four drive-by shooting counts for allegedly firing into houses and at parked vehicles in Lake Stevens and Marysville in the early morning hours of June 2.

The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office asked that bail be set at $5 million for Walker. He is to be arraigned on the charges at 2 p.m. Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, Conley, a student at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School, and five other teenage girls who were longtime friends traveled from Seattle to Lake Stevens to celebrate Conley’s 15th birthday.

They were staying with one of the girl’s parents, who had moved to Lake Stevens.

“That night, the girls decided to walk down to the lake,” the charging documents said. As they were walking down a narrow part of South Lake Stevens Road, almost in single file, “the girls heard a loud bang as a car passed; then MC (Molly Conley) dropped to her knees.

“It took the other girls a few moments to realize that MC had been shot … MC fell a short distance down the embankment into the heavily wooded area. Good Samaritans got out of their cars to help the girls and carried MC back to the roadway in order to provide assistance.

“MC was still breathing with difficulty at that point, but she had lost a lot of blood … MC died of a single gunshot wound to the neck. It was a through and through wound,” with the bullet passing through her body and traveling in the wooded area.

The bullet was never recovered, the documents said.

After that shooting, other reports came in of drive-by shootings in the area. Bullets were fired at parked vehicles and into four houses — three in Lake Stevens and one in Marysville. No one was injured in those shootings.

All bullets recovered from the houses and vehicles were .30 carbine. Police learned that Walker had purchased a Ruger Blackhawk revolver from Cabella’s in Marysville earlier this year that uses .30 carbine ammunition.

Walker was arrested in the case on June 28.

Forensic scientists determined July 3 that the .30 carbine shots fired into the houses and vehicles on June 2 came from two Ruger Blackhawk revolvers recovered from the defendant’s home during a search warrant.

Following his arrest, Walker “adamantly denied ever shooting a gun from his vehicle,” the documents said.

Police said they believe the Conley shooting was random and that he did not know her.

He also denied being involved in a hit-and-run accident with a parked car at one of the houses where the drive-by shootings took place. But the charging documents said forensics indicated Walker’s car had residue from the other vehicle.

According to Walker’s Facebook page, he graduated from Stanwood High School and ITT Technical Institute in Everett after studying computer network systems, and he had worked at Boeing.

WalkerEVERETT– Bail was set at $5 million Tuesday for a man accused of killing 15-year-old Molly Conley in a drive-by shooting in Lake Stevens  June 1.

Erick N. Walker, 26, of Marysville, is accused of killing Conley in a random act of violence. He was arrested Friday.

Walker, a Boeing employee who has no previous criminal history, was charged Tuesday with one count of second-degree murder, five counts of second-degree assault and four counts of drive-by shooting.

Conley, a student at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School, was shot from a passing car while she was walking down a Lake Stevens road with friends at night. She was in Lake Stevens to celebrate her 15th birthday with friends.

There were a few other drive-by shootings in the area on the night of June 1, but they only caused property damage. Snohomish County sheriff’s investigators said they believe Walker was responsible for all of the drive-by shootings that night.

The prosecutor has until the felony dismissal date of July 19 to file into Superior Court. The prosecutor may wait until that date or file sooner. Once charges are filed in Superior Court, arraignment will follow.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — A month-long investigation into the shooting death of 15-year-old Molly Conley has led to the arrest of a Marysville man. Authorities said it was old-fashioned police work resulted in the arrest.

erick walker cropErick Nathan Walker, 26, appeared before a Snohomish County judge Monday. Investigators said Walker is the man that shot and killed Conley on June 1.

On June 1, Conley was walking with friends in Lake Stevens when she was shot and killed. Authorities also received multiple calls of other drive-by shootings in the area that night.

For the next four weeks, detectives pounded the pavement and interviewed a dozen witnesses about the shooting spree. They also examined bullets they found — all of them were unique, 30-caliber carbine rounds, which gave detectives a short list of gun owners.

Black paint chips left behind at one of the scenes also yielded another list of car owners. Only one man’s name was on both lists — Erick Nathan Walker.

Lt. Brent Speyer with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said, “I am so proud of the work they did. They were out there on a mission to bring the person who killed Molly to justice and get justice for her and her family and the people who loved her.”

In response to the recent news of the arrest, the Conley family released a statement.

“She (Molly Conley) is the reason we are here today,” family friend, Katie Larson said. “And it is her life more than her death that we hope people will remember since it is her life that was so amazing.”

Conley’s father was in court today to see his daughter’s suspected killer.

“We’re going to find out who this was and we’re going to find out exactly why and we’re going be sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” John Conley said in an interview about his daughter’s death.

But the “why” of the crime still puzzles detectives and they admit they don’t have a motive.

“We don’t want to speculate because at this point we don’t know,” Speyer said.

But detectives are confident that Walker committed the crime.

Authorities said Walker acted alone, driving from Lake Stevens to his home in Marysville, shooting at random. They are also confident they have the murder weapon among an arsenal of guns found at Walker’s home. The sheriff admitted the investigation took a while but as far as he’s concerned, the case is closed.

“Certainly you can understand that the process and the outcome is the most important thing for the sheriff’s office and the Conley family,” Sheriff Tom Davis said.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Police and detectives called the drive-by shooting death of 15-year-old Molly Conley an act of random violence perpetrated by one suspect during a night-long shooting spree.

Probable cause documents released by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office detail the events leading up to the arrest of Erick N. Walker, 26, of Marysville in the shooting death of Conley. The documents allege the Conley shooting was just one of several shots fired at different, apparently random targets by Walker.

Police said Walker acted alone and did not know Conley, or any of the other homes or targets he allegedly shot at.

erick walkekr“We believe this was random,” Lt. Brent Speyer of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.

Walker is expected to be charged with one count of first-degree murder, four counts of drive-by shooting, and five counts of second-degree assault. He is in Snohomish County Jail awaiting charges. Walker wasn’t believed to have any gang affiliations, but did own an array of guns.

Police interviewed five of Conley’s friends who were with her on June 1 when she was shot at 11:15 p.m. Two of Conley’s friends described a vehicle that had passed them when Conley was shot. They each also said they heard a “pop” as the car passed them.

A few hours after Conley was shot, police responded to calls of additional shootings in the area.

“There were several reports of shots fired that same night,” Speyer said.

When police responded to various locations within Marysville, they found a bullet embedded in a wall in one location and property damage from gun fire in another location. Police also investigated a witness report that they had seen a man in the area running with a rifle, but they were unable to locate a suspect. No one was injured in those incidents.

According to Speyer, police began to piece together information with bullet casings collected from the various scenes. Experts matched the bullets with 30-caliber carbine weapons recently purchased around the area and were also able to scrape paint off the side of a car damaged on June 1 in a hit-and-run incident near where Conley was shot, with police believing the perpetrating car to be the suspect.

Investigators at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab determined a variety of models of car the paint from the hit-and-run car could have come from, and police were able to pair that information with the 30-caliber carbine owners in the area. Detectives matched Walker with owning both a 30-caliber carbine gun and a car with a consistent paint type from the hit-and-run.

When police contacted Walker, he allegedly told officers enough information to arise suspicion for probable cause. Investigators have not released what Walker allegedly said. Speyer said more information will be released as Walker’s case moves forward.

Representatives for Conley’s family spoke at the Monday morning press conference, saying it’s important to not “lose sight” of Conley and the things she accomplished in her life as a projected trial begins.

“(Molly) is the reason we are here today,” the family representative said. “It is her life more than her death that we hope people will remember.”

Walker is a Boeing employee, according to court documents.

Local News
07/01/13

Drive-by shooting suspect to appear in court

Local News
06/30/13

Suspect in Molly Conley shooting identified

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday identified the suspect in the Molly Conley drive-by shooting death as Erick N. Walker, 26, of Marysville.

walkerarrest

Erick N. Walker being arrested at his Marysville home on Friday.

Conley, a student at Seattle’s Bishop Blanchet High School, was shot in the neck and killed while she was walking along a road with friends in Lake Stevens on the night of June 1. She was celebrating her 15th birthday.

It was believed to be a random shooting from a passing car. No one else was injured.

On Friday, June 28, sheriff’s deputies arrested Walker. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and other charges, but he has not been formally charged with a crime. He is set to appear in court on Monday, but charges are not expected to be filed at that time.

The sheriff’s office also plans to hold a news conference on the case at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

The Seattle Times, citing a “law enforcement source familiar with the investigation,” said detectives believe Conley was a random victim of a shooting spree and that Walker did not know her.

There were at least two other drive-by shootings the night of June 1 that resulted only in property damage, and detectives suspect Walker was responsible for those, too, the Times said. But it is unclear what led detectives to Walker.

Walker also was booked on suspicion of five counts of second-degree assault with a weapon, because of other shots fired in the general vicinity of Conley’s friends, and four counts of drive-by shooting, some stemming from the other property-damage incidents, the Times said.

According to the newspaper, Walker’s only police record is a list of traffic violations, mostly speeding tickets.

The Times reported that Walker’s Facebook page featured a photo of rifles and handguns and that it said he graduated from Stanwood High School and ITT Technical Institute in Everett after studying computer network systems, and that he has worked at Boeing.

Reward in Molly Conley murder case risesMARYSVILLE — Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday night they arrested a Marysville man in connection with the shooting death of Molly Conley.

The 15-year-old Seattle girl was shot in a drive-by shooting on June 1 on South Lake Stevens Road as she was walking with some friends. She had been out celebrating her birthday.

Molly’s father, John Conley, said he is thrilled with the arrest and thanks the police and everyone in the community for all their support.

When John Conley first spoke about his daughter’s murder, he said he was desperate for an arrest and was determined to never give up on solving Molly’s murder.

“We’re going to find out who this was and we are going to find out exactly why and we are going to be sure that this doesn’t happened to anybody else,” he said.

 

SEATTLE — Seattle student Molly Conley was shot and killed by a passing car while she was celebrating her 15th birthday with friends and walking along a road in Lake Stevens on June 1.

In this video report, Molly’s father, John Conley, talks about his daughter, and police detectives ask for the public’s help in finding her killer.

“Our world was shattered, it changed,” John Conley said in an interview. “Right now a part of me, and apart of me that will not rest, wants to find this person” who killed her.

 

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