3 arrested in Craigslist home invasion murder

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by KING5.com

NWCN.com

Posted on May 4, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 5 at 3:57 AM

TACOMA, Wash. - Three people have been charged and are in custody in connection with last week's home-invasion robbery in which an Edgewood father was killed.

The suspects are identified as Kiyoshi Alan Higashi, 22; Joshua Nathan Reese, 20; and Amanda Christine Knight, 21. They were arrested in Daly City, near San Francisco over the weekend.

Daly City Police Sgt. David Macris tells KING 5 the three were stopped at 11:50 a.m. Saturday because their Ford Crown Victoria had no front license plate. Macris says Reese had a weapon within reach under the seat. He also allegedly gave a false name to officers. Macris says someone else in the car tried to hide their identification. Knight was able to bail out.

"The female made bail and got out before they knew we were looking for her," said Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Det. Ed Troyer.

Knight made her way back to Washington state. She turned herself in Tuesday night and was booked into the Pierce County Jail. Higashi and Reese are in custody in Daly, awaiting extradition to Washington.

Police served a search warrant on a house in Tacoma Tuesday afternoon in hopes of catching the fourth suspect, but that person was not there. The homeowner is the father of one of the suspects. Police say he refused to let officers in, so he was arrested for obstruction of justice.

Several more unrelated arrests were made at the home.

Charging documents released

Pierce County prosecutors charged Higashi, Reese, Knight and a fourth suspect with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and second-degree assault. Troyer says detectives expect to have the fourth suspect positively identified within a day.

Jim Sanders, 43, was shot and killed April 28 in his Edgewood home after placing an ad on Craigslist.

Charging documents say four people came to the home in response to the Craigslist ad for a ring. Two of the people, a man and a woman, entered the home, looked at the ring and agreed on a price.

The man then pulled a handgun and the two zip tied Charlene and Jim Sanders with their hands behind their backs. Two more men entered the home. One of them went upstairs and brought the Sanders children, two boys ages 14 and 10, downstairs.

One of the men kicked Charlene at least twice in the head. Another started hitting Jim in the head with the gun when his older son intervened.

"The gunman then pistol whipped the child, causing bruising, abrasions and a concussion to his head," charging documents state. "James Sanders broke his hands free from the zip ties to try and defend his son, and the gunmen shot James Sanders three times, once in the knee, in the thigh and in the back of the right shoulder, which was a fatal round."

Papers say Charlene's wedding ring was taken from her hand, and that the four left the home with cell phones, a laptop computer, jewelry and other items.

Sanders family reacts

As soon as the news of the arrests broke, the Sanders family began calling one another. They gathered in the neighborhood where the crime happened, including James Sanders' parents.

"It changes lives. It's changed our lives... and hurt a lot of people and it was for nothing but a piece of a rock and a few hundred bucks," said Jim Sanders Sr.

"I'm really thankful that they're caught. I'm so thankful for that because they can't do any more damage to anyone else, but it doesn't take away the hurt and the pain of what they've taken from us," said Linda Sanders, Jim's mother.

"Of all of them, I don't know if I dislike any of them more than the other, but I know I dislike that gal probably the most, if I had to pick somebody, just because she's the one that deceived my brother into letting them into the home," said Derek Sanders, Jim's younger brother.

Jim and Linda say they are proud of the actions their son took that night.

Charlene Sanders described the night when four suspects robbed and beat hear family and murdered her husband.

"I had a gun to the back of my head with a countdown, three two and I'm just screaming and my kids are standing there. and I'm saying, please, God, don't let them kill me, don't let them kill my kids," she described.

Knight linked to Lake Stevens home invasion

Lake Stevens Police say Knight has been positively identified as being involved in a home invasion in that city on April 25. In that case, the homeowner had placed an ad on Craigslist for a flat-screen television.

Police found several stolen items from the home at a pawn shop in Pierce County. The shop owner confirmed that Knight pawned them. The other two men have not been positively identified as being linked to the Lake Stevens case, but police suspect they are.

Troyer says anyone who thinks they may be victims of the suspects should call police.

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