Prosecutors charge Burien man in Tukwila motel shooting death
By STEVE HUNTER
Tukwila Reporter Reporter
September 18, 2012 · 10:05 AM
King County prosecutors have charged a 33-year-old Burien man with first-degree murder in connection with the Sept. 1 shooting at a Tukwila motel parking lot.
Asuan Santos-Valdez is accused of shooting Orlando Soto 37, of Tukwila, in the 14100 block of Tukwila International Boulevard at about 10:30 p.m. Sept. 1, according to charging papers.
Santos-Valdez allegedly shot Soto once in the abdomen and once in the neck after robbing him of cash over an apparent drug deal gone bad. Santos-Valdez is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 27 in King County Superior Court in Kent. He remains in the county jail with bail set at $1 million.
Santos-Valdez was reportedly seen fleeing from the area on foot and Tukwila detectives collected evidence that led to the identification of the Burien man as the alleged shooter.
A K-9 unit and video cameras along the street reportedly showed Santos-Valdez enter a nearby convenience store after the shooting.
State Department of Corrections officers recognized Santos-Valdez because he had a DOC warrant. DOC officers found the man Sept. 11 in Seattle and took him into custody without incident.
Tukwila Police arrived within two minutes of the shooting. Soto was found with several gunshot wounds and no signs of life. Officers performed CPR until Tukwila Fire Department units arrived. Soto had rented a room at the motel.
In an interview with detectives, Santos-Valdez admitted to shooting Soto, according to charging papers. He said his Cuban friends had made him do it, provided him with a gun and told him to pretend to buy drugs from Soto and then shoot him.
Detectives found Soto's 2009 Nissan Altima in the parking lot at the motel. They discovered more than $4,500 in currency in the vehicle as well as 108.21 grams of suspected heroin.
Santos-Valdez has an extensive criminal history, including felony convictions for first-degree theft in 2009; second-degree malicious mischief in 2007; third-degree assault in 2005; possession of cocaine in 2003; taking a motor vehicle in 2003; first-degree escape in 1999 and several other convictions. He also has 16 misdemeanor convictions beginning in 1996.
At the time of the murder, Santos-Valdez had been out of prison less than five months and was under Department of Corrections supervision for prior offenses. Seattle Police arrested him Aug. 6 for investigation of possession of cocaine.Contact Tukwila Reporter Reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.