EVERETT — A Mountlake Terrace man is no longer facing a felony robbery charge after evidence surfaced showing he wasn’t at the home-invasion holdup.
The case against Frank Steve Djoko, 20, was dismissed Dec. 15 in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Plans to bring Djoko to trial in November were halted at the last minute after his public defender provided prosecutors with evidence that his client had an alibi for the May 24 crime.
The decision to dismiss the charge came later after investigators interviewed Djoko’s alibi witnesses and reviewed corroborating evidence, including photographs that placed him somewhere else, deputy prosecutor Elise Deschenes said Friday.
Djoko was charged in July. He was accused of being one of the robbers who confronted a man who was working in the garage at his upscale home on Sound Avenue in Everett. The victim wound up with a gun pressed to his skull. The robbers took about $100 from his wallet and his son’s PlayStation 4.
The day after the robbery, police said they got an anonymous tip that somebody named “Frankie” was part of the holdup team. The tipster also provided the robber’s supposed Facebook screen name, according to court papers.
The homeowners’s son, meanwhile, told police he acted on a hunch and checked the social media of a girl he’d brought home not long before the robbery. With his father looking on, they checked the young woman’s Facebook profile and clicked on the people she listed as “friends.”
The robbery victim told police that he recognized one of the men who held him up.
Djoko had the same Facebook screen name supplied by the tipster. Based on the identification, he was arrested.
He denied any involvement.
No evidence surfaced to connect anyone else to the case, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said last week.
“Djoko did not provide an alibi at the time of arrest but did on the first day of trial which pushed everything back based on the new information,” he said.
The case was dismissed after his alibi was confirmed, Snell said.
The investigation could be reopened if new evidence surfaces, he added.
The home where the robbery occurred has been the scene of other trouble, most recently a heroin-fueled shootout Dec. 17.
The homeowner’s son, Eamon Jouett, 17, is charged in adult court with first-degree assault. He’s accused of wounding a friend, 20, during an exchange of gunfire that came after the pair reportedly had been using heroin. The younger Jouett was shot as well.
The gunfire prompted a police standoff and a SWAT team was called when the teen refused to come outside. Jouett’s criminal history includes convictions for burglary, attempted robbery and weapons violations.
Caitlin Tompkins contributed to this story.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.