Four people to be sentenced in 2013 murder of Kent woman

Three men and one woman face murder sentences in the next few weeks for the June 2013 beating death of a Kent woman in her apartment.

Three men and one woman face murder sentences in the next few weeks for the June 2013 beating death of a Kent woman in her apartment.

Kent Police found Latasha Walker, 24, unconscious on her bedroom floor at the Somerset Apartments, 25216 110th Ave. S.E. The King County Medical Examiner's Office determined Walker died from numerous liver lacerations and large amounts of blood in her chest cavity, consistent with some type of blunt force trauma. Walker was found in a fetal position, with a belt around her neck, according to charging papers. Walker was unresponsive and declared dead later that night at Valley Medical Center in Renton.

The group organized an invasion of Walker’s apartment. Walker knew the woman involved in the attack. The four were after cash and pills but ended up leaving with only electronics.

A jury convicted Corey Mann and Gary Sanders of first-degree murder on March 2, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. They are scheduled to be sentenced April 15 before King County Superior Court Judge Alicea Galvan. Mann faces 30 to 40 years in prison while Sanders could be sentenced to 20 to 26 years.

Michael Galloway and Tatiana Wood-Sims both pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder. They each testified at the trial of Mann and Sanders, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. They face sentencing on March 25 before Judge Laura Middaugh. Galloway’s sentence range is 12 to 20 years and Wood-Sims 10 to 18 years. She helped organized the robbery.

During the robbery, the men took Walker's cellphone. Detectives learned in July 2013 the phone had been reactivated. The investigation into the phone use eventually led them to Galloway.

Detectives arrested Galloway, of Burien, in October 2013 and tracked down the other three in 2014. Galloway admitted to detectives that he and two other men traveled to Kent to rob Walker. He said one of the other men told them Walker had large sums of cash and pills at her apartment and that her man was in jail.

When the men went to the apartment, Galloway knocked on the door and asked to use a phone. As a woman started to open the door, the men forced their way inside.

Galloway said the other men wrestled, punched and choked Walker as he looked for the money and drugs. Galloway said he didn't find cash or drugs but he stole Xbox games, a laptop and cellphones.

Kent Police did not issue a media release after the June 2013 incident because of the uncertainty at the time about how Walker had died.

“It was a unique case and we were not sure if it was a murder or not at first,” Police Chief Ken Thomas said in an October 2013 interview.

After the King County Medical Examiner's Office later determined it was a homicide, detectives didn't want to compromise the investigation by releasing information, Thomas said.

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