26-year-old Covington man charged with second degree murder | Breaking news
By TJ MARTINELL
Covington Reporter Reporter
November 14, 2012 · Updated 1:18 PM
Austin Tyronne Stein, 26, was charged with second degree murder by the King County Prosecutor's Office in the bludgeoning death of a Covington man Nov. 4.
According to the charging papers Stein allegedly murdered Bill Smith, who lived in the same neighborhood on 172nd Place Southeast in Covington, after a dispute.
King County Sheriff's deputies were first dispatched to the Covington home around 5:30 p.m. after they received a call from someone claiming their roommate had been shot and that the suspect was still at the scene.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing a tan shirt and standing on the front porch of a residence. When the deputies arrived, they found a black male matching the description of the suspect waling towards 17nd Place.
According to the charging papers, it took several seconds of yelling and commands to get on the ground before the suspect did so. He was handcuffed, searched for weapons, and read his Constitutional rights.
When asked if he understood his rights, the suspected replied, "My mom already know this," and then asked for the deputies to read section two of his constitutional rights again.
Deputies then discovered Smith inside the trailer behind the residence. Smith did not have a pulse, but his body was still warm.
A medical unit arrived around 6 p.m. and confirmed Smith was dead. According to the autopsy, Smith suffered multiple blunt force injuries to the head, which resulted in a fractured skull and brain damage. He also suffered rib fractures, abrasions and bruises.
Smith's roommate told deputies that Stein had come into his house around 3 p.m. and asked for alcohol. Stein described himself to Smith's roommate as "a bad guy with a gun."
He also said he had been drinking with Smith in his trailer and that there had been an argument.
A neighbor then called Smith's roommate asking why Stein was using Smith's cell phone, stating that Smith had called him earlier to apologize for an argument he had with the neighbor and with Stein the previous night. According to the charging papers, Smith had offered alcohol to "patch things up."
The neighbor had declined the offer, but said Stein must have gone over to Smith's trailer.
When Smith's roommate asked Stein why he had Smith's phone Stein allegedly replied, "What phone? Who's Bill?"At that point Smith's roommate noticed the blood on Stein's shirt and went to check on Smith and found him bloody and unresponsive.
The roommate then called the police while Stein was on the porch, unaware the roommate was contacting the police. According to one of the witnesses, Stein tried to leave once he realized the roommate was calling the police and hit him when he tried to stop Stein from leaving.
Detectives reportedly tried to interview Stein, who initially refused to sit in the back of the crime scene van until his handcuffs were taken off. Stein also reportedly avoided being photographed by detectives.
He later admitted he had been drinking and told detectives he had met a girl at Walmart earlier in the day who was headed to "Bodega Bill's" trailer, so he went along with her. He stated he knew Smith and had been inside the trailer before.
Stein reportedly told detectives the girl later left the trailer after having a shot of alcohol, but later said he wasn't sure she ever went into the trailer.
He allegedly admitted Smith had gotten upset with him the night before and Smith had tried to patch things up. The suspect told the detectives Smith had given him cheap beer initially and then they both drank "dark alcohol from a blue bottle," according to the charging papers.
When detectives asked Stein about the blood on his shirt, Stein reportedly seemed surprised and denied it was blood and was instead dirt. He told the detectives to prove it was blood.
According to the charging papers, Stein refused to have his statement recorded or let investigators take swabs of his hand. He eventually tried to get past the detectives, requiring several detectives to get him back in handcuffs.
Stein's arraignment is set for Nov. 21.
His bail has been posted at $1 million. According to the charging papers, Stein has no felony history, but has had prior arrests for assault and drug possession.
Contact Covington Reporter Reporter TJ Martinell at email@example.com or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.