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Friday, 12 March 2010

Omar Norman, a member of the Low Profiles street gang since convicted in the slaying of a leader in a rival gang


14:15 | ,

Lee's violent death -- shot in the back on April 28, 2007, in the 2600 block of East Alder Street -- proved convenient for Omar Norman, a member of the Low Profiles street gang since convicted in the slaying of a leader in a rival gang.Like Lee's slaying, the Oct. 17, 2005, shooting death of 32-year-old Terrell Milam went unsolved for years before prosecutors filed charges his killer, Norman.Affiliated with the Central District's Deuce 8 street gang, Milam was suspected in a fight with then-Seahawks defensive back Ken Hamlin, who suffered a severe head injury in the Pioneer Square bar brawl that ended his football season. Milam was executed hours after the brawl, his killers apparently driven by a different violent act.At trial, prosecutors noted that Norman and Milam were hanging out at "The Spot" in the hours before Milam's death. Lee was there, according to court documents, as were others associated with the two gangs.The rivalry between the two gangs -- which exploded following Milam's murder -- was trumped by the men's shared history in the Central District.
Many of the men had grown up together, prosecutors told the jury. They went to school together. Their parents worked with one another.The men were separated, though, by ceaseless violence and street justice.At trial, Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Castleton told the jurors Milam was killed after telling Norman and another man that he'd shot the second man's brother. The other man shot Milam in the chest multiple times; Norman "topped" him with a bullet to the head."This is not a gang shooting," Castleton told the jury. "The defendant didn't kill Terrel Milam because they were in different gangs. They were, but that was not the motivation.""This is a case about justice," he added, "a justice that takes place on the streets."
Trying one of several stories he offered to explain his DNA on shell casings found at the scene, Norman told Seattle police that Lee, not he, killed Milam. It was about a debt, Norman explained, that ended in violence.Four months dead at the time, Lee could hardly answer Norman's claim.Other witnesses -- including a man shot by Norman -- told investigators that Norman had bragged about Milam's killing. A jury agreed with the state, and a judge sentenced Norman to 52 years in prison.In charging Lee's alleged killer, prosecutors suggest the 24-year-old also died for street justice.According to charging documents filed in King County Superior Court, Lee had been attending a barbeque earlier in the day at Powell Barnett Park, five blocks from "The Spot." While there, Lee was seen arguing with Hutson moments before the shooting.
Lee was gunned down just after 7:30 p.m. while walking in the 2600 block of East Alder Street. Struck in the back, torso and legs, Lee died shortly thereafter at Harborview Medical Center.Seattle homicide detectives, following a tip, interviewed Hutson days after the shooting. He denied any role in the slaying, and other witnesses refused to identify him as the gunman.In the years since, though, several witnesses told detectives Hutson -- known as "Tiger-6" or "Tig" -- believed Lee had been with a group of men that had shot at him previously, according to charging documents. Hutson, witnesses said, planned to kill Lee.Witnesses said Hutson followed Lee from the park in a car driven by Gilbert Kinney, who has now been charged with rendering criminal assistance. As Lee exited his car, prosecutors allege, Hutson opened fire with a .40-caliber pistol."Hutson followed and killed the victim, shooting him multiple times in the back," Castleton said in charging documents. "Hutson is a clear threat to the safety of our community."Charged with first-degree murder, Hutson remained at large Thursday night.Hutson, 31, is 6 feet tall and 160 pounds with an injured left eye. He is described as a black man with medium-tone skin.


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