A trial date has yet to be set for a SeaTac teen driver charged a year ago with second-degree murder for the death of a Maple Valley jogger.
There is another hearing Sept. 28 at the King County Child and Family Justice Center in Seattle for the now 16-year-old girl, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A judge granted a continuance Aug. 31 to the Sept. 28 date because prosecutors are waiting for records from an expert, according to a Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson.
Attorneys for either side could ask for more time to prepare the case at the hearing or a trial date could be set. The Kent Reporter is not naming the girl because she is a juvenile.
Gregory Moore, 53, was killed the morning of July 18, 2021 by a hit-and-run driver while jogging near his home.
In September 2021, prosecutors charged a then 15-year-old SeaTac girl with second-degree murder for allegedly hitting Moore with a car and then fleeing the scene. She pleaded not guilty. The case remained unsolved for about eight weeks. King County Sheriff’s Office detectives used headlight fragments found near the scene, video surveillance and other evidence to identify a 2004 Toyota Camry that reportedly hit Moore.
The release of a photo similar to the media similar to the car that struck Moore led to tips from the public and eventually led detectives to look for the girl. She was taken into custody Sept. 9, 2021. She has remained in custody at the county’s Child and Family Justice Center.
During the investigation into Moore’s death, detectives found evidence that led to further charges against the girl in a July 2021 hit and run in Des Moines that reportedly injured a pedestrian who has not yet been identified. She faces second-degree assault and felony hit and run charges in that case that has been added to the second-degree murder charge.
Michelle Moore, the widow of Gregory Moore, and her family pushed hard for prosecutors to try the girl as an adult. If convicted as a juvenile in a bench trial (before a judge not a jury), the teen will be released when she turns 21. If convicted by a jury in adult court, the girl could have faced a sentence of up to 20 years.
“This juvenile was 15 years old at the time of the offenses for which she was charged,” according to a Prosecuting Attorney’s Office statement after charges were filed. “She has no prior arrests or criminal history. The laws of our state presume that a child this age must be prosecuted in juvenile court.”
Youth who are 16 at the time of a crime can legally be charged as an adult if they are charged with a felony.