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The original item was published from 8/1/2014 4:47:43 PM to 8/2/2016 12:00:08 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: August 1, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Jury convicts two men of 1988 Tacoma gang murder

TACOMA, WA – Today a jury found Anthony Ralls, 45, and Nathaniel Miles, 49, guilty, convicting them of murder in the first degree. In 1988, the defendants murdered Bernard Houston during a drive-by shooting in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. Additionally, Miles was found guilty of tampering with a witness. Three other co-defendants, Brian Allen, Darrell Lee and Terris Miller, pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree earlier this year. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29, 2014. Houston’s murder is believed to be the first gang homicide in Pierce County.

“These convictions end a long chapter of gang violence in Pierce County,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Justice was delayed, but not denied. The Tacoma Police Department and our deputy prosecutors, Greg Greer and Jesse Williams, were persistent.”

On Aug. 28, 1988, Bernard Houston and Michael Jeter, two known Hilltop Crip gang members, allegedly shot at Allen and Ralls, who were two known Blood gang members. The shooting took place on Tacoma’s east side. In retaliation, two car loads of Bloods drove to the Hilltop neighborhood looking for Crips. Allen drove Ralls and Lee in one vehicle while Miles drove Miller and another man in a second car. Just before midnight at the intersection of South 23rd Street and Sheridan Avenue, 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 found Houston lying in the street with a revolver in his hand. He was 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 detectives gathered additional information, and the defendants were charged in 2013 as part of an emphasis on resolving “cold cases.”

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

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