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Originally published Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

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Glasses, missing car lead police to man in Renton slaying

A judge found probable cause to hold Steven M. Marshall, 34, of Tacoma, on investigation of second-degree murder for last week’s homicide near Lake Desire outside of Renton. Detectives believe victim Ryan Prince, 27, was killed when he interrupted a burglary.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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A broken pair of prescription eyeglasses and a missing PT Cruiser appear to have led sheriff’s detectives to a 34-year-old Tacoma felon who is suspected of being one of multiple shooters responsible for the death of a man last week at his house near Renton.

A King County District Court judge on Monday found probable cause to hold Steven M. Marshall on investigation of second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Prince, 27, who was killed Feb. 17 within minutes of arriving at his residence in the 17800 block of East Lake Desire Drive Southeast. Marshall’s bail was set at $1 million.

According to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case against Marshall, Prince was “confronted by multiple assailants who were intent on burglarizing the home” and was “shot several times with multiple firearms.” He died at the scene.

On the front porch of the residence, detectives found broken Burberry brand blue-frame eyeglasses — and learned that Marshall wears similar eyeglasses but hadn’t been seen wearing them since the homicide, the statement says.

They also learned that the gunmen had arrived in a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser with Washington plate number AKY 8871, a vehicle that is registered to Marshall’s wife, the statement says.

Detectives are searching for the purple- or burgundy-colored vehicle, which Marshall is suspected of hiding somewhere, and for other suspects, sheriff’s Sgt. Cindi West said.

The owner of the house where Prince was shot owns a medical-marijuana dispensary in Renton and detectives are looking into whether that business may have been the reason the house on the east side of Lake Desire was targeted, West said.

There was not a marijuana-grow operation at the house, where the owner also lives, according to West.

Detectives believe Prince was killed while interrupting a burglary.

Marshall, a student at Clover Park Technical College, was arrested Saturday at a house on Tacoma’s South Hosmer Street and had nearly $5,500 in cash on him at the time, according to the statement.

According to federal court records, Marshall grew up in Los Angeles, where he served minimal jail time on a couple of minor drug charges in the early 2000s.

A former construction worker and car salesman, Marshall and his wife moved to Tacoma in 2003, where he was arrested three years later for selling stolen guns to an undercover police officer, court records show. At the time, Marshall was studying to be a minister and an electrician, the records say.

He was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to the gun charges, but ended up serving more time for violating conditions of his probation, according to records.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com




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