Trial date set for men charged in murder of Des Moines man
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
June 15, 2012 · Updated 5:46 PM
A Des Moines man accused of killing one of his friends last January because he thought the man was a child molester goes to trial Nov. 13, 2012 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent for first-degree murder.
Prosecutors will argue that Denzil Rick Moore, 45, shot and killed Thomas Humphries, 55, in Des Moines then disposed of his body on the lawn of a vacant home in Auburn.
Prosecutors have also charged Glae Matthew Roland, 34, Des Moines, with rendering first-degree criminal assistance for allegedly helping Moore to dispose of Humphries bullet-riddled body and conceal evidence.
Ian Goodhew, a spokesman for the King County Prosecutors Office, said the cases are joined under the same cause number "so unless the defendants' attorneys move for severance, they will be tried together."
Both men have pleaded not guilty and are in King County Jail.
A check of records revealed that Humphries has never been arrested for or charged with any sex crimes in Washington State and was never listed on King County's sex offender registry.
Here is a summation of Auburn Police Detective Buie Arneson's account of events, which forms the basis of the state's case against Moore and Roland.
On Jan. 14, a man who had been hired to mow the grass at the vacant property at 11112 SE 304th St. found a dead man in the grass and called police.
The King County Medical Examiner used the man's fingerprints the following day to identify him as Humphries. According to the autopsy report, Humphries sustained four gunshot wounds to his body, one severing his aorta and killing him.
Auburn police got a break when they learned that the King County Sheriff's Office had been talking to a witness, Glae Roland, who told them he had been in the vehicle when Humphries was shot. Roland also described the weapon as a .22-caliber handgun, which matched the bullets the medical examiner had removed from Humphries' body.
Roland told Auburn detectives that he and Moore were friends, and that Moore had been a friend of the dead man.
Roland said that on Jan. 10, Moore called him and said that he had been with Humphries at the Des Moines Goodwill store and that he, Moore, had a loaded firearm. Roland said Moore offered to drive Roland to work in Kent, and Roland took him up on the offer.
Roland met the two men in the parking lot of the Goodwill store and the three got into the vehicle and began driving toward Kent. En route, Roland told detectives, Moore accused Humphries of being a child molester, pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and pointed it at Humphries. When they stopped in a Kent parking lot, Roland told detectives, he heard a shot and saw Humphries curl up into a fetal position. He said he did not see the shot.
As they drove on, Roland told detectives, Moore allegedly ordered him to check on Humphries to determine if he was still breathing. Roland said he was. As Moore turned east onto South 277th Street from 83rd Avenue, Roland told detectives, Moore allegedly fired four more shots at Humphries. Roland told detectives that Moore then began talking about what they were going to do with the body.
Ultimately, the two men found an abandoned house in Auburn. Roland told detectives that Moore ordered him to get Humphries out of the truck. Roland said he pulled him out and onto the ground. He put his hands under the dead man's armpits and began pulling him toward the abandoned home. At Moore's orders, Roland said, he searched Humphries' pockets where he found an ID belonging to somebody else, $5, and some business cards. Roland said he then dragged the body partway toward the home, where he left it.
Roland told detectives that as he and Moore drove away, he, Roland, began throwing the dead man's property out the window. As they were driving north SR 167, Moore warned Roland that if he "ratted" on him, he would kill him and his family.
Roland told detectives that he and Moore later returned to the abandoned house to properly dispose of Humphries' body. When they got there they discovered an orange outline where the body had been. At that point they knew that police had found the body and processed the scene.
According to Arneson's account, Roland told detectives that he and Moore tried to change the appearance of the pickup by painting it white. Roland also showed police where Moore was living in Des Moines.
On Jan. 16, police executed a search warrant on Moore's home and truck and arrested him after finding evidence that tied him to the murder, including shattered safety glass in the pickup truck and spent and damaged .22 cliber bullets consistent with the bullets the medical examiner had recovered from Humphries' body. Moore denied the murder. When detectives tried to pursue details beyond Moore's narrative, Arneson wrote, he became upset.Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.