One by one they filed into the courtroom, Monday. Some wore faces of grave seriousness, others of indifference. All of the suspects are just 16 or 17-years-old, barely old enough to drive. All of them now facing possible charges of first degree murder.
KING 5 is not identifying any of the young suspects at this point because they are minors and none of them have been formally charged.
Investigators say the suspects met up last Thursday intending to steal drugs and money from their 17-year-old victim, Michael Young. Court documents indicate Young admitted to being a meth and marijuana dealer.
Julie Knechtel, Young’s mother, rushed to her son’s defense when the suspects came kicking in the door of the shed he was living in outside of his family’s south Everett trailer.
She was shot in the chest and killed.
Police found her in the arms of her son who had been shot in the back.
Family members tell KING 5 these same suspects had come calling three previous times in recent months, showing weapons and demanding cash.
Social media posts helped police identify the suspects, which included pictures of money, drugs, and guns.
One of the suspects escaped from police for a short time over the weekend after slipping out of his handcuffs and punching an officer. He was also wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting that happened last week. Gang ties are suspected among several of those now under arrest.
Each of the five suspects are held on $500,000 cash-only bail. They are all scheduled to be charged with first degree murder, and other crimes, Thursday.
At that point it could also be determined whether prosecutors plan to try the teens as adults.