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The original item was published from 7/17/2013 2:20:24 PM to 7/18/2013 4:08:33 PM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: July 17, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Fifth Gang Member Arraigned in 1988 Murder

TACOMA, WA – Today the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office arraigned Terris Antonio Miller, 42, for the 1988 murder of Bernard Houston. Miller is the fifth defendant to be arraigned on these charges. The other four, Brian C. Allen, Nathaniel Miles, Darrell M. Lee, and Anthony Ralls, were arraigned earlier this year. Miller was brought to Pierce County from Michigan, where he was incarcerated in federal prison for unlawfully transporting a firearm. All five are charged with Murder in the First Degree for what is believed to be the first gang homicide in Pierce County.

“Our Gang Unit continues to successfully prosecute gang violence, old and new,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

Early in the day on August 28, 1988, Bernard Houston and Michael Jeter, two known Hilltop Crip gang members, apparently shot at Allen and Ralls, who were two known Blood gang members. The shooting took place on Tacoma’s east side. In retaliation, two cars loads of Bloods drove to the Hilltop area looking for Crips. Allen drove Ralls and Lee in one vehicle while Miles drove Miller and Joey Courtney in a second car. Just before midnight in the area of South 23rd and Sheridan, the Blood group spotted Houston and Jeter in a car. Allen and Ralls stepped out of their car and gunfire erupted. Houston was shot in the head. The Blood gang members fled.

Tacoma Police officers responded and found Houston lying in the street with a revolver in his hand. He was unconscious and transported to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The initial investigation did not yield sufficient information for arrests. Over the years, however, Tacoma Police put together the case.

In 2011, the Prosecutor's Office filed murder charges and issued a warrant for Allen’s arrest. On April 14, 2013, Allen was picked up on the warrant in Texas. On April 24, Tacoma Police arrested Miles in Steilacoom. On April 25th, Tacoma Police patrol officers arrested Ralls in Lakewood.

Miller is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 270 in the County City Building in Tacoma.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

For more information, please contact Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].

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