RENTON, Wash. – The mother of a 22-year-old man who was shot and killed is pleading with the public and the justice system as a whole. She worries for the safety of her community if the defendant, now 15, is released from prison and placed on house arrest ahead of trial.
The teenager is also a suspect in a second murder case.
“I don’t know what else to tell you other than I will do everything possible to get you justice,” Maggie Perez-Zuniga said during a visit to her son’s grave in Renton.
She says her son Marc Anthony Valladolid was waiting for a friend in a Renton Safeway car park last October when a verbal altercation with a stranger turned deadly.
“Marc got out of that car, put his hands up,” she said. “They backed into the parking lot and the boy hung himself out the window and scorched him 5 times in the chest.”
She says Marc was buried in November. Childhood toys and flowers overflow from his grave. The pain she feels here shares space in her heart for the pain she feels for the boy accused of Marc’s murder.
“I want to forgive him, I want to heal,” she said. “I forgive you son. I’m sorry people let you down.”
The boy accused of killing Marc is also charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of a 54-year-old man in Burien last January. Although the teenager’s defense attorneys have yet to file a motion, Perez fears they will ask the judge to house him during the trial.
Prosecutors plan to oppose the motion. Later next month, they also plan to ask the judge to try the teenager as an adult.
“The King County District Attorney’s Office would object because regardless of your age, when you’re charged with killing two people, we think it’s reasonable to have someone in custody for that,” said spokesman Casey McNerthney.
“It doesn’t have to happen to other families,” Perez said.
Marc’s mother worries about the safety of her community. She says keeping the teenager twice accused of murder in pre-trial custody would do some justice to a 22-year-old boy who loved playing music and dreamed of becoming a mechanic.
“My concern is that families don’t have to endure the pain I’m going through.”
FOX 13 News has contacted the King County Department of Public Defenders to ask if and when they could seek the accused teenager’s release. We did not have an immediate response.