Brothers drove with Kent homicide victim’s body, prosecutors say
A 19-year-old man has been charged this week with premeditated first degree murder, charged with shooting and killing a man in Kent last month and then driving with the victim’s body before the vehicle was released found a few days later, according to King County prosecutors.
Theft was the apparent motive for the homicide, charges laid against Kevyn Mota-Navarro, whose last known address is in Bonney Lake, on Monday. He was arrested on October 28 at a family member’s apartment in Kent and remains in jail in lieu of $ 1 million bail, prison and court records show.
His brother, Christian Mota-Navarro, 20, was also arrested on October 28 in the same apartment and has since been charged with first degree criminal assistance and possession of a stolen vehicle, accused of helping to conceal the victim’s body and steal the victim’s car with his brother, prosecutors said. He remains in jail instead of a $ 250,000 bond.
Joel Cruz Rizo, 23, was shot and killed on October 15, but his body was not found until his friends were directed to the location of his stolen car on October 18 and summoned police, according to reports. charges against the brothers
Just after 11:30 p.m., Kent Police responded to reports of gunfire outside a Dollar Tree store in the 23400 block of Pacific Highway South. When officers arrived, they found no evidence of a shooting or eyewitnesses, according to prosecution documents.
The next day, two friends began searching for the missing Cruz Rizo and his black Nissan Altima with a distinctive hood, according to the charges.
That afternoon, the friends spotted the Altima in the drive-thru of an espresso stand about a mile south of Dollar Tree and one of them clashed with two men inside of the vehicle, according to the charges. When one of the men pointed a gun at the friend, the friend pulled out his own gun and the barista called 911. The Altima men left and the friend left before the arrival of the police, according to the charges.
Just before 3 p.m. on October 18, the same two friends called 911 after locating Cruz Rizo’s locked Altima parked in the 2700 block of South 256th Place in Kent and reported that it appeared a body was coming. was in the back seat of the car. A Kent police officer smashed one of the car windows and officers found the body of Cruz Rizo, which had been partially concealed with clothing, a parasol and other items, according to the charges.
During the investigation, police also spoke with a man who said he witnessed the shooting. He told detectives he was in the front passenger seat of the Altima and that three other men got in the back. An argument ensued and Cruz Rizo ordered the other men to get out of his car, and two of the men in the backseat started assaulting Cruz Rizo, according to the charges, which identified one of them as being Christian Mato-Navarro.
The witness told police that Kevyn Mato-Navarro, who was also sitting in the back seat, asked where Cruz Rizo’s gold necklace was and then shot him. The witness then fled from the scene, according to prosecution documents.
Kent Police detectives said Kevyn Mato-Navarro told them in an interview that he shot Cruz Rizo in the leg and arm and then ordered him to sit in the back seat, where Mato-Navarro had shot Cruz Rizo in the head, killing him, according to the charges. According to police, Mato-Navarro said he killed Cruz Rizo because Cruz Rizo “disrespected him and his brother”, according to the charges.
Cruz Rizo’s car was eventually found less than a quarter of a mile from the apartment where the brothers were later arrested, according to the charges. During a search of the apartment, police found a handgun that was allegedly used in the shooting and some of Cruz Rizo’s property, according to prosecution documents.
The two brothers are to be brought to justice on November 15.