Six charged in gang-related homicide

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Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged four defendants on July 27 with murder in the second degree. The prosecutor charged two others with murder in the second degree. The six are accused of killing Francisco Beiza in Tacoma’s Eastside on the evening of July 24.

“Gang violence is dramatically down in Pierce County, but there is still work to do,” said Lindquist. “We are committed to ending the cycle of violence.”

Lindquist charged Joe Duque Martinez, 30, Katherine Ugalde-Torres, 17, Andy Campos Roman, 16, Jesus Lopez, Jr., 17, Ronny Daniel Fernandez, 21, and Marcia Judith Ugalde, 18, with murder in the second degree.

At approximately 8:08 p.m. on July 24, Tacoma Police responded to reports of a shooting in the area of East Portland Avenue and East 44th Street in Tacoma’s Eastside. Responding officers found Beiza, who was dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Police recovered 22 9mm shell casings, as well as a knife, from the area near his body.

Video surveillance from the area shows an individual identified as Joshua Youell get out of a white Suburban-type SUV and approach Beiza. A scuffle ensued, and three individuals, Lopez, Roman, and Fernandez, exit the Suburban and run up to Youell and Beiza. Lopez and Roman can clearly be seen holding guns. While Beiza appears to be running away, Lopez and Roman fire at him.

Within 10 minutes of the officers’ response to the shooting reports, a white Suburban-type SUV arrived at Allenmore Hospital. Surveillance footage shows Ugalde, Lopez, Roman, Fernandez, and Ugalde-Torres rush Youell into the hospital. Youell had multiple stab wounds and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Martinez can be seen leaving the Suburban and the hospital, carrying a backpack. The others fled in the white Suburban.

Patrol officers responding to the hospital stopped the vehicle. Officers found Ugalde, Lopez, Fernandez, Roman, and Ugalde-Torres inside the vehicle and arrested them.

Bail is set at $1,000,000 for all defendants.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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