By Pat Jenkins
Three people have been accused by Pierce County authorities of having a role in the death of a man who allegedly was shot as reprisal for stealing a car.
Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist charged Presley Lind, 28, and Christopher Olsen, 32, with murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the Frederickson-area shooting of Robert Ward, 24.
A third person, Nathan Stevenson, 25, was charged two weeks ago in connection with the case..
Lindquist claimed the three defendants were part of a conspiracy that led to Ward’s death.
Olsen, the alleged shooter, was arrested in Idaho and extradited to Washington to face charges. He and Lind pleaded not guilty in separate arraignments last week in Superior Court in Tacoma.
“This is a case of vigilante justice run amok,” Lindquist said. “The victim was killed for allegedly stealing a car.”
According to authorities, Lind told Stevenson on Feb. 16 that Ward stole a car from Olsen. Stevenson offered to help recover the vehicle in a plan that called for luring the victim to a phony drug deal later that night, beating him up and taking the car back, authorities said.
When Ward, who had other people with him, drove into a parking lot at Canyon Road and 176th Street East in Frederickson for the purported drug transaction, the group allegedly confronted him. Ward drove away, and in a chase that followed, Olsen fired a gun at Ward from a pickup truck, with one of the bullets striking him in the head and causing the car he was driving to crash, Lindquist said.
Ward died the next day at a hospital.
Passengers who were riding with Ward told county Sheriff Department detectives that Stevenson arranged the phony drug deal, authorities said.