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Gang members charged in 1988 murder | Pierce County Prosecutor

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Brian Clement Allen, 45, Terris Miller, 42, Nathaniel Miles, 47, Darrell Montea Lee, 44, and Anthony Ralls, 44, with Murder in the First Degree for their involvement in a gang-related murder from August 28, 1988. This is believed to be the first gang homicide in Pierce County.

“Like a time capsule, this case reaches back to the early days of gang violence in Pierce County,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Hard work and coordination by our Gang Unit and Tacoma Police made this prosecution possible. This case serves as a reminder of how bad gang violence became, how well we've reduced the violence, and how much work remains.”

Early in the day on August 28, 1988, Bernard Houston and Michael Jeter, who were two known Hilltop Crip gang members, apparently shot at Allen and Ralls, who were two known Blood gang members.

The shooting took place on Tacoma’s east side. In retaliation, two cars loads of Bloods drove to the Hilltop area looking for Crips. Allen drove Ralls and Lee in one vehicle while Miles drove Miller and Joey Courtney in a second car. Just before midnight in the area of South 23rd and Sheridan, the Blood group spotted Houston and Jeter in a car.  Allen and Ralls stepped out of their car and gunfire erupted. Houston was shot in the head. The Blood gang members fled.

Tacoma Police officers responded and found Houston lying in the street with a revolver in his hand. He was unconscious and transported to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The initial investigation did not yield sufficient information for arrests. Over the years, however, diligent Tacoma Police detectives pieced together the case.

In 2011, the Prosecutor's Office filed murder charges and issued a warrant for Allen’s arrest. On April 14, 2013, Allen was picked up on the warrant in Texas. On April 24, Tacoma Police arrested Miles in Steilacoom. Early today, Tacoma Police patrol officers arrested Ralls in Lakewood.

Allen, Miles and Ralls are scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 270 in the County City Building in Tacoma. Miller is serving a federal prison sentence. Lee is serving a state prison sentence. Joey Courtney is deceased.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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