Higashi was shooter in Craigslist murder, detectives say

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by KING5.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 11 at 6:57 PM

SEATTLE – Pierce County Sheriff's Department detectives say they have identified who pulled the trigger, killing Jim Sanders in his Edgewood home last month.

Detectives say Kiyoshi Higashi, 22, was the person who shot Sanders during a robbery at his home April 28. The sheriff's department would not immediately give any details about what led them to that conclusion.

Police say Sanders was murdered while trying to protect his family during the robbery. Detectives say the suspects targeted the family after they placed an add to sell a ring on Craigslist.

Higashi was arrested in the San Francisco Bay area a few days after the murder. KING 5's Chris Daniels spoke to Higashi at the San Mateo County Jail. During the interview, Higashi shifted in his seat, denied any involvement and expressed surprise at his arrest, saying "It's not something I did."

When Daniels told him the police account, his face visibly tightened and he said "I would not wish that upon my family.

When asked why he left Washington state even though it was a parole violation, he admitted "I know this looks bad. It looks suspicious."

Click here to read more about Daniels' interview with Higashi.

At Higashi's arraignment Monday, a member of his family said, "He wasn't even in the room when the shooting happened."

In an interview with KING 5 last week, Kiyoshi's father, Alan said "If he's guilty, he'll be found guilty and he'll have to pay the consequences."

All four suspects in the case – Higashi; Reese, 20; Clabon Berniard, 23; and Amanda Knight, 21 – have all pleaded not guilty to murder, assault, robbery and burglary charges.

Although Higashi is the alleged shooter, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says the other three are equally as guilty of murder under the law.

 

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