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Originally published Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Auburn man convicted in 2007 slaying

A 24-year-old man was convicted of first-degree murder by a King County Superior Court jury Wednesday in the 2007 slaying of an Auburn man.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A 24-year-old man was convicted of first-degree murder by a King County Superior Court jury Wednesday.

Kirk Ricardo Saintcalle, of Auburn, was convicted of the 2007 slaying of 35-year-old Anthony Manzo Johnson.

Saintcalle's two co-defendants, brothers Narada Roberts and Roderick Roberts, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February and face a possible 19-year prison sentence for their roles in the slaying.

The Roberts brothers said in their plea deals that Saintcalle had been the trigger man, but Saintcalle has denied that. His attorney, James Womack, said he plans to appeal the conviction.

According to court documents, Saintcalle and the Roberts brothers went to Johnson's Auburn apartment in February 2007, intending to threaten Johnson with an assault-style rifle and pistol.

Womack said that their actions were intended to intimidate a person they believed had made previous threats against one of the brothers and that Johnson, it turned out later, was not even their intended target.

"He really didn't have any part of it," Womack said.

The victim's wife paced the hallway outside of the courtroom after the verdict was read, clearly upset.

"I'm glad, but it's not enough," Leslie Johnson said. "It's not going to bring my husband back."

Johnson, a father of three, was the kind of person who neighborhood kids could turn to for help, she said; he "rooted for the underdog" and "would give you the shirt off his back."

Saintcalle also was convicted of three counts of second-degree assault for forcing several other people who were in Johnson's apartment into a back bedroom at gunpoint.

Witnesses told police that Narada Roberts threatened one resident of the apartment with a gun and demanded that she give him "the dope" or "the money."

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During his trial, jurors heard about Saintcalle's traumatic family history.

His father, Richard Saintcalle, is serving life in prison for killing Kirk Saintcalle's mother and seriously wounding his 13-year-old sister with a shotgun in 2002.

At his father's trial, Kirk Saintcalle told jurors that he hadn't paid much attention to his father's violent threats against his mother because he'd made them so often.

Once jurors were led from the courtroom, the young man leapt over a bench to throw a punch at his father and had to be restrained by courtroom security personnel.

A sentencing date for Kirk Saintcalle has not yet been set. Prosecutors say he faces a sentencing range of 48 to 59 years in prison.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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