EVERETT — Rayshon Blackwell admitted to police he “likely” committed at least 15 robberies in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle in 2014, according to King County court documents.
Because of those offenses, as well as other arrests and convictions, Blackwell has spent all but one year since then behind bars.
This month the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office charged the Federal Way man, now 24, with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree assault, in a new string of crimes.
On the night of Feb. 17, Blackwell and an unidentified man walked into a marijuana shop in the 15800 block of Highway 99, charging papers say. They reportedly brandished pistols and ordered everyone to the ground. Blackwell fired a shot at the wall, and the pair left in a light blue Honda sedan with cash and weed products, deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter wrote in charging papers.
About 30 minutes later, a pair of robbers who matched the description of the earlier suspects showed up at a marijuana dispensary in Bothell, wielding guns. Again, they took cash and cannabis.
Another half-hour passed before robbers reportedly tried to hit a third pot shop in Woodinville. But their plan was thwarted when they spotted a security guard posted out front, Hunter wrote. The suspects drove off. The Woodinville guard was aware of the robberies earlier that night, the charges say, because word had circulated among local dispensaries. He called the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office to report a Honda and a silver Toyota Camry that appeared to “accompany” the Honda.
Sheriff’s deputies tried to pull over the two cars. The drivers reportedly fled.
“The cars traveled 80 miles per hour and failed to stop at a stop sign,” Hunter wrote.
The Camry got away. Deputies kept chasing the Honda, the charges say, driving 100 mph and blowing through a red light. The pursuit headed southwest on Highway 522, toward Seattle.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies used a PIT maneuver to stop the Honda, forcing it to spin out in the 3200 block of NE 145th Street.
Blackwell reportedly crawled out of the driver’s seat. A passenger got away on foot.
The Federal Way man was transported to a local hospital, then booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, attempting to elude law enforcement and unlawful possession of a firearm.
In 2014, police suspected Blackwell was involved in a spree of street robberies in and around the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Blackwell, then 17, reportedly told police he “snatches and grabs, or socks a guy and grabs, and gets going,” according to court documents filed in King County. He reportedly admitted to 15 robberies out of 22 being investigated.
In one incident in 2014, the defendant and another person reportedly walked up to a man who had just gotten in his car and tapped the window with a gun. The driver got out of the car, charging papers say, and the pair demanded his wallet, phone and camera. They stole his car and fled to Los Angeles, where they were arrested, police wrote.
Blackwell was convicted that year in King County Superior Court of first-degree robbery for an armed carjacking. He was tried as an adult, charging papers say. Blackwell served a prison sentence of five years.
Records show Blackwell has had at least 12 prior warrants for his arrest in Washington, the new charges say.
Under state guidelines, Blackwell now faces a range of 10¾ to 14¼ years behind bars if convicted of the Snohomish County charges, Hunter wrote.
Blackwell remained in custody Friday with bail set at $500,000.
Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @reporterellen.
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