EVERETT — A Mukilteo man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to spurring on the murder of one man and carrying out the execution of another.
Hassani Hamadi Hassani, 20, appeared in Snohomish County Superior Court wearing a pale blue dress shirt, shielded behind a pane of window glass in the back of the courtroom.
His friend and co-defendant, Anthony Hernandez-Cano, 18, pleaded guilty weeks ago to the aggravated murders of Mohamed Hassen Adan, 21, and Ezekiel Kelly, 22. He faces life in prison for the July killings.
New charges against Hassani detail his alleged role in the murders, motivated by revenge and a desire to be “cool” and “tough” like his friend, Hernandez-Cano.
Both men held grudges with Adan, according to the charges. Hassani had accused Adan of trying to kiss his girlfriend. Hernandez-Cano, meanwhile, believed Adan “snitched” on him, sending him to jail over a no-contact order violation.
In late June after Hernandez-Cano bailed out, Hassani helped him to track down their rival, court papers say. Adan was lured into a red Saturn driven by Hernandez-Cano’s girlfriend. He was abducted.
Hernandez-Cano beat Adan with a baseball bat behind an Albertsons, bound him with electrical tape at an apartment and went to sleep, the charges say. Later he rode with him in the Saturn to Arlington, taking pictures of his wounds. Hernandez-Cano burned him with a cigarette on the face, shot him twice in the foot and rode away from Blue Stilly Park in the car.
According to the new charges filed late last week, Hernandez-Cano got a text from Hassani’s phone: “Finish him for me.”
The car turned around. Hernandez-Cano returned and executed Adan, firing five more bullets into his body, the charges say.
Passersby found the body July 1.
At some point, Hassani told Hernandez-Cano it was actually Kelly who reported him to police, according to the charges. Hernandez-Cano had a grudge with him, too. His girlfriend reportedly had told him about a night when she’d fallen asleep alone in her car, and awoke to find Kelly staring at her through the window.
Kelly’s body was found July 3, in an abandoned building in the 13100 block of Beverly Park Road.
He had been stabbed 27 times, with one gunshot to the left knee cap and three shots to the head.
Police tracked down Hernandez-Cano by reviewing security footage from a rural Arlington fire station. One car that passed by was the Saturn registered to his girlfriend, in Mukilteo.
Once police tracked down Hernandez-Cano, he confessed to the crimes. He admitted to stabbing Kelly, but said Hassani fired the fatal shots.
Police interviewed Hassani, and he allegedly described how his friends kidnapped Kelly and took him to the woods. Hernandez-Cano shot him in the knee cap, and his girlfriend Lendsay Meza, 21, beat him with a bat, according to Hassani’s story. The men carried Kelly back to the car, where Hernandez-Cano stabbed him with a dagger.
At the abandoned building, Hernandez-Cano kept stabbing Kelly. He handed a .22-caliber pistol to Hassani and told him to shoot Kelly. Prosecutors believe it was the same gun used to kill Adan.
“Yeah, he told me to do it, but like, I made up my mind and I guess I wanted to do it,” Hassani reportedly told police, “… to prove to him that I’m actually the cool guy, like he is.”
Hassani is being held in the Snohomish County Jail with no bail. He’s charged with one count of aggravated murder, for Kelly’s death.
Girlfriends of both men were arrested. Hassani’s girlfriend is accused of rendering criminal assistance, for helping to clean blood and bloody clothes from the Saturn. She posted $10,000 bond in August. Hernandez-Cano’s girlfriend, Meza, remains behind bars with no bail, on charges of aggravated murder.
Hernandez-Cano faces one possible sentence Oct. 23, at his sentencing hearing: life in prison, with no chance of parole. Prosecutors chose not to pursue the death penalty, in light of his swift plea deal.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.