EVERETT — A Kenmore man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to his alleged role in an Everett drug deal that ended in attempted robbery and death.
Brian Garrett Wingender, 22, entered the plea Wednesday during a brief appearance in Snohomish County Superior Court.
The charges stem from a failed March 13 marijuana deal near Everett’s Clark Park. Two teens were shot, one fatally.
Wingender and Dustin Bradshaw, 22, of Bothell, allegedly went to Everett to sell more than two pounds of marijuana. Instead, the would-be buyers — young men with criminal histories — attempted to take the drugs by force.
Wingender told police that he was struck in the head with a handgun, but managed to flee with his pot. He claimed he was chased through the streets and shot in self-defense.
Everett police said they were drawn by sounds of early morning gunfire. They found Francisco Vazquez, a confirmed gang member, with gunshot wounds. John Muhlstein, 18, was dead, a handgun reportedly on the ground nearby.
In and around the car that carried Wingender and Bradshaw, police say they recovered more than four pounds of marijuana, nearly 200 tabs of the prescription medication Xanax (sold on the street as “Hulks,”) plus multiple firearms, including an AK-47.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf on June 27 charged Wingender with one count of possession of drugs with intent to manufacture or deliver. The charge alleges the defendant or an accomplice was armed with a firearm. That makes him eligible for stiffer punishment.
If convicted as charged, Wingender faces a prison sentence of somewhere between four and five years.
On Wednesday, Alsdorf requested that the defendant await trial on $10,000 bail. Defense attorney Eric Lindell argued that wasn’t necessary: his client has never been in trouble before. He also said his client has agreed to testify as a prosecution witness at Vazquez’s attempted armed-robbery trial.
Bradshaw, meanwhile, has agreed to do the same at trials for Vazquez and Wingender, court papers show.
Judge Millie Judge said she is concerned about community safety. She said Wingender must post $10,000 bond or await his Sept. 29 trial behind bars.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.