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The original item was published from 6/24/2014 11:22:23 AM to 6/25/2016 12:00:07 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: June 24, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Two men charged with murder for drug deal gone bad

TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Thomas Law, II, 30, and Brandon Wilburn, 22, with murder in the second degree for shooting and killing Phillip Little, 27, during a drug deal last month in University Place. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in room 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma.

“This case was solved by smart forensic work,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The detectives pieced together calls, text messages and other evidence to zero in on the defendants.”

On May 20, 2014, the defendants used their cell phones to set up an afternoon drug deal with the victim. The deal went bad. The victim was shot once in the front of his body and three times in the back. Wilburn and Law fled the scene on foot, and witnesses heard one of them say, “Oh my God dude, I can’t believe we did that.” Medics treated the victim at the scene, but he was pronounced dead within 30 minutes of being shot.

Investigators found a cell phone near the victim’s car, and determined it belonged to Wilburn. Records indicate he exchanged multiple calls and text messages with the victim and Law minutes before the shooting. Law’s cell phone records indicate he was in the area at the time of the murder, and that his phone was used to call Wilburn’s ex-girlfriend after the murder.

Wilburn’s ex-girlfriend told detectives Wilburn was acting paranoid after the shooting and said he needed a one-way ticket back to Tennessee.

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

Heather Songer
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
[email protected]

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