Sunday, July 23, 2017 This Week's Paper

Police Blotter


On April 25 Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Brian Clement Allen, Terris Miller, Nathaniel Miles, Darrell Montea Lee and Anthony Ralls with first-degree murder for their alleged involvement in a gang-related murder that happened on Aug. 28, 1988. This is believed to be the first gang homicide in Pierce County.

Early on that day 25 years ago, Bernard Houston and Michael Jeter, who were two known Hilltop Crips gang members, apparently shot at Allen and Ralls, who were two known Bloods gang members. The shooting took place on the East Side. In retaliation, two carloads of Bloods drove to Hilltop looking for Crips.

Allen drove Ralls and Lee in one vehicle while Miles drove Miller and Joey Courtney in a second car. Just before midnight in the area of South 23rd Street and Sheridan Avenue, the Bloods group spotted Houston and Jeter in a car. Allen and Ralls stepped out of their car and gunfire erupted. Houston was shot in the head. The Bloods gang members fled.

Tacoma police officers responded and found Houston lying in the street with a revolver in his hand. He was unconscious and transported to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. He was 17. The initial investigation did not yield sufficient information for arrests. Over the years, however, diligent Tacoma police detectives pieced together the case.

In 2011, the Prosecutor’s Office filed murder charges and issued a warrant for Allen’s arrest. On April 14, Allen was picked up on the warrant in Texas. On April 24, Tacoma police arrested Miles in Steilacoom and the next day Tacoma officers arrested Ralls in Lakewood. Not guilty pleas were entered for them and they were ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.

Miller is serving a federal prison sentence. Lee is serving a state prison sentence. Joey Courtney is deceased.

“Like a time capsule, this case reaches back to the early days of gang violence in Pierce County,” said Lindquist. “Hard work and coordination by our Gang Unit and Tacoma police made this prosecution possible. This case serves as a reminder of how bad gang violence became, how well we have reduced the violence and how much work remains.”


A federal investigation resulted in five arrests and confiscation of drugs and guns in last week. The Drug Enforcement Administration sent an informant to purchase five ounces of heroin from a man at a Tacoma restaurant on April 23. After the drug deal was completed, agents served search warrants at two houses in Tacoma and one in Spanaway. They found nearly four pounds of heroin, more than four pounds of methamphetamine, half a pound of cocaine, four handguns and $16,000 in cash. Those arrested were charged with multiple drug counts. Two admitted to dealing drugs for more than two years.


A Tacoma political activist known for his inappropriate behavior during public meetings was arrested for indecent exposure on April 23 in front of Hotel Murano. The incident began when Robert Hill was at another hotel and demanded medical attention, then became hostile with paramedics. He then walked to Hotel Murano. Later a couple outside the hotel said Hill stood near them, unzipped his pants and exposed himself. Hill was arrested and taken to jail.. He was booked for investigation of indecent exposure and carrying a dangerous weapon for allegedly possessing brass knuckles. Hill has served time for intimidating a judge, among other offenses.