Last month, Alex Valdovinos, 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of Demarcus Bell.
Parking had been a “contentious issue” for a while on 203rd Street SW near Lynnwood, deputy prosecutor Tyler Scott wrote in charging papers.
On the night of March 28, 2020, a woman got home from shopping when she found a visitor’s car in her driveway in the 3300 block of that street, according to the charges. She went inside the home and told her fiance about the car. A group of people, including the fiance and Bell, went to their neighbor’s home and knocked on the door.
A fight reportedly broke out on the front porch. One man suffered a broken leg. Another had his false teeth knocked out.
The woman’s fiance reported he saw a few people with guns, according to court papers. Investigators were unable to confirm that. He shouted to his fiancee to “go get my gun.”
But he didn’t have a gun, he later told police. He reportedly thought the men would back off if he yelled that.
Moments later, Valdovinos stepped out on the porch with a rifle resembling an AR-15. He fired two shots into the air. The fight dispersed.
Bell, of Tacoma, and his friends were going back to their home when three or four more shots rang out, the charges say. Bell fell to the ground where the driveway meets the street. He’d been shot in the head. He was 36.
Valdovinos told investigators he wasn’t the shooter, according to court documents. A witness refuted this.
Detectives later found six .22-caliber bullet casings in the street, about 150 feet away from Bell.
Valdovinos wrote a letter to read in court Monday. He said that “I have written this letter more times than I can count and still don’t know how to truly apologize for this.”
“I know that no amount of words, no matter how true and heartfelt they are, can help ease the pain and suffering that comes from the sudden loss of a loved one,” he said.
Valdovinos had no prior felony history, according to court records. He had several misdemeanor violations, all in Snohomish County in 2011 and 2012.
Under state sentencing guidelines, the defendant faced between 15¼ and 23⅓ years in prison. Noting Valdovinos acknowledged his guilt, prosecutors and the defense agreed to push for the low end of that range.
Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Paul Thompson agreed.