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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Edmond Cummings pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm

Two suspected Seattle gang members have been charged in connection with a drug-related carjacking on Mercer Island, according to court documents.One defendant, Edmond Cummings, 18, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in King County Superior Court to second-degree robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was being held in the King County Jail with bail set at $100,000.The second defendant, a 15-year-old boy, pleaded not guilty last week in Juvenile Court to first-degree robbery and malicious mischief. The second charge pertains to an alleged tirade in an interrogation room at the Mercer Island Police Department, court documents say. Mercer Island police started investigating Feb. 1 when a resident called 911 to report that several associates had threatened him with a gun and had stolen his 1999 Ford Explorer outside his apartment in the 3200 block of West Concord Way.The victim told police he previously had lent the vehicle to the same suspects in exchange for crack cocaine to feed his drug habit, but that he no longer wanted them driving it, court documents say. About 10 days earlier, the Explorer was spotted driving away from a Seattle home-invasion robbery in the 900 block of 33rd Avenue South. In that case, assailants tied up a resident and ransacked the home, Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson said.No charges have been filed in that case.
The defendants are affiliated with the Deuce Eights, a Central Area gang connected to a rash of shootings in the past year.On Feb. 1, they allegedly drove to the victim's home in the Mercer Island man's vehicle and asked him to get in and drive. Two men followed in another car. According to the victim, Cummings asked to borrow the vehicle again and the victim refused. Cummings then opened his jacket to reveal a handgun in his pocket, court documents say.The victim, "fearing for his and his family's safety," got out and called 911, court documents say.On Feb. 2, Seattle police found the Explorer in the 2900 block of East Alder Street and arrested another suspect, 17, with the vehicle. A Seattle detective then contacted Mercer Island police because the vehicle had been reported involved in the home invasion.
One of the suspects from the Mercer Island case matched a suspect's description from the home invasion, court documents say.
On Feb. 6, police from Seattle and Mercer Island, along with an FBI agent, searched a South Seattle apartment that Cummings shared with his mother and found a 9 mm Ruger handgun, a 30-round rifle magazine and two magazines for a .45-caliber handgun. Cummings has four prior felony convictions, making him ineligible to possess a firearm, court documents say.
Cummings, whose birthday was Feb. 6, turned 18 while being interviewed by detectives, court documents say.
The second suspect was booked into King County's juvenile detention center after he was interviewed at the Mercer Island Police Department. During a period when he was left alone in the interview room, he threw two metal chairs at the soundproof walls and door, causing $300 in damages, court documents say.
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