TACOMA, WA – Today James Stimson, Jr., 16, was arraigned on charges of Murder in the First Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree for the shooting death of David Watson. Co-defendant Marcus Langford, also 16, was arraigned on November 28 and a bench warrant was issued for Stimson, who was arrested yesterday after being featured on “Washington’s Most Wanted.” His bail was set at $2 million.
“Our Gang Unit is committed to vigorous prosecution of violent gang members,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. “These gang members committed adult-sized crimes and will be prosecuted as adults. Gang violence is down in our County, but there is more work to be done. We appreciate the support from ‘Washington’s Most Wanted.’”
The 45-year-old victim was driving around South Tacoma looking for his dog in the early morning hours of November 18 when he encountered the defendants in the parking lot of a convenience store. They demanded money and then shot him as he sat in his pickup truck. The victim managed to drive two blocks before losing control and crashing. Police responded to the scene and found the victim unconscious and his dog unharmed. He was taken to a hospital and died a few hours later. During the autopsy, a .380 caliber bullet was recovered from the victim’s body.
Surveillance video from a nearby convenience store showed the defendants talking to the victim outside of his truck. According to Langford, after the victim got into his truck, Stimson told him to give him money, “all you got.” When the victim laughed and tried to grab the gun, Stimson shot him.
Later on the day of the murder, a relative of Stimson called police. She reported that months earlier, Stimson had taken two of her husband’s guns, a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol and a .38 caliber revolver. Stimson returned the revolver to her several hours after the murder. Because he is under 18 and a convicted felon, it was unlawful for him to possess the gun.
When interviewed by police, Stimson denied attempting to rob the victim, and claimed that the victim charged at him so he pulled out his gun and shot him. This story is contradicted by surveillance video. Stimson admitted to dismantling the gun after the shooting and discarding parts at various locations.
The defendants are both acknowledged gang members associated with the 64 block crips. They are charged as adults because of their age and the seriousness of the crime. 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].