A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Life in prison, 45 years for two men convicted of 2012 Woodland Park murder

December 4th, 2015 by Doree

Two men convicted of murder in a drug deal in Woodland Park in 2012 were sentenced Thursday. According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, 37-year-old Michael Bienhoff was sentenced to life in prison under the state’s “Three Strikes” law for repeat offenders. Karl Pierce, 31, received a 45-year sentence.

The two shot and killed 31-year-old Precious Reed on Feb. 20, 2012 during a marijuana deal. Both men were convicted last month of Murder in the First Degree with a firearm enhancement.

According to the Prosecutor’s website:

Two other defendants, Ramon Lyons, 38, and Scott Barnes, 33, were sentenced last month for their involvement in the crime. Lyons pled guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree and was sentenced to 11 years. Barnes pled guilty to Robbery in the First Degree and received a sentence of nearly 3 ½ years.

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Seattle Times: 2 men convicted in 2012 murder at Woodland Park

November 6th, 2015 by Doree

The Seattle Times reports that two men were convicted yesterday in the drug deal murder of another man in Woodland Park in 2012.

One of the men, a 37-year-old gang member, according to the Times, will now spend life in prison after his third strike.

You can read the full story here.

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13-year-old boy mugged by West Woodland Park Playground Tuesday night

June 3rd, 2015 by Doree

Teo tells us his 13-year-old son was mugged by a group of young men near West Woodland Park Playground on Tuesday evening.

This happened to my son.

While walking home from his baseball playoff game just before 8:00 on Tuesday night a 13 year old was accosted by a group of 5 (or more) young men. Walking on the outskirts of the West Woodland Park Playground he was overtaken by the group and asked if he had a phone. When he said ‘no’ the men insisted on his backpack. When he said ‘no’ again they hit him and took it. They then ran to a car that was parked just east of the traffic circle at the intersection of 59th and Dayton and took off.

The incident was witnessed by two St. Johns students and was reported to the police.

Taken was a red North Face backpack containing a two-toned Rawlings Baseball glove and a blue baseball hat with a red ‘M’ insignia. If anybody finds them please make every effort to return it as the next playoff game is on Saturday and it is difficult to play without one’s mitt.

If anyone has any information about this incident or the suspects, please put a note below in Comments or email us at tips@phinneywood.com and we’ll pass it along to Teo.

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UPDATED: MAN FOUND — Police looking for man who impersonated an officer at Woodland Park

February 26th, 2013 by Doree

Update: The man was arrested on Thursday.

Earlier: Seattle Police are looking for a man who impersonated a police officer two weeks ago at Woodland Park.

From the SPD Blotter:

A man wanted for impersonating a police officer while robbing unsuspecting Seattle park-goers is still on for the run. But that hasn’t stopped him from keeping his robbery streak alive, while armed with a box full of porn.

Ryan James Purdy-suspect-resizedRobbery detectives have been searching for 46-year-old Ryan James Purdy (aka Tracy Byers) since December, after Purdy approached several people in Volunteer Park in December, flashed a fake badge at his victims, and took their cash and credit cards.
Since we posted Purdy’s picture on the Blotter, detectives believe he’s tried to pull his fake cop scam on two other occasions, most recently in north Seattle.

Shortly after 2:30 pm on February 10th, Purdy’s latest victim was walking through Woodland Park—near N. 50th Street and Woodland Park Avenue N—when another man, believed to Purdy, approached him and asked him to come look at a box of pornographic magazines lying in the grass inside the park.

The victim, concerned children in the park would find the box of magazines, took the box and walked to his car. The suspect followed the victim, and got inside the victim’s car. That’s when the suspect flashed a fake badge, said he was doing a “drug sting,” and said he needed to pat the victim down.

During the pat down, the suspect took the victim’s wallet, rifled through it, and returned it to the man. The suspect then took back his box of porn, got out of the victim’s car, and the victim drove off.

About an hour later, the victim realized his bank card was missing from his wallet—and had since been used at a grocery store—and called police.

In a separate incident, police also believe Purdy knocked on the door of a Capitol Hill home and told a woman inside that he was a federal agent. The woman promptly slammed the door in his face.

If you see Purdy or know where detectives can find him, call the real cops at 911 or (206) 684-5535.

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Parvo canine virus likely contracted at Woodland Park offleash area

December 21st, 2012 by Doree

Jen emailed to tell us that her dog was just diagnosed with Parvo, a highly contagious disease affecting dogs, and she wanted others to be aware.

I was hoping you would help get the word out that my 11 mo. old fully vaccinated lab was just diagnosed with Parvo, and the time frame makes it almost certain that she contracted it at Woodland Park offleash dog park. I just don’t want any other pups getting sick, or if they do show signs of getting sick that their owners take them in asap!

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Community invited to weigh in on Woodland Park play area renovation

July 9th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation has $350,000 to spend on renovating the Woodland Park play area at 1000 N. 59th St., and they’re asking the community for ideas. The first public meeting with the design team will be from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Room 1 of the Blue Building.

The money comes from the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy. The renovation will include better accessibility for all park patrons and play area improvements. If you can’t make the meeting, you can fill out a survey online.

The meeting to review potential plans is set for 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the PNA.

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Woodland Park murder suspect pleads not guilty

March 15th, 2012 by Doree

The 33-year-old man accused of murdering another man in Woodland Park on Feb. 20, pleaded not guilty this morning.

The King County Prosecutor’s Office says Michael Bienhoff pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Precious Reed.

Bienhoff remains in jail without bail. If convicted as charged, he faces life in prison under the state’s “Three Strikes” law. A case setting hearing is scheduled for March 29 at the King County Courthouse.

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Second degree murder charges filed in Woodland Park shooting

March 1st, 2012 by Doree

The King County Prosecutor’s Office today charged 33-year-old Michael William Bienhoff with second degree murder in the shooting death of Precious Reed on Feb. 20 in Woodland Park.

If convicted as charged, Bienhoff faces a sentence of life in prison under the state’s “Three Strikes” law for repeat offenders.

Bienhoff is being held without bail at the King County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on March 15 at the King County Courthouse.

According to charging documents, after the shooting, Reed’s family members told detectives that Reed had planned to purchase two pounds of marijuana from someone associated with the Rolling 90’s street gang.

On February 21st detectives interviewed DB, Reed’s friend who was present during the shooting. DB told detectives that he and Reed drove in separate vehicles to the shooting location with the plan of purchasing several pounds of marijuana from someone Reed knew. DB said that Reed had been arranging this meeting via communications on his cell phone. DB said that both he and Reed had over $1000 on their person to purchase the marijuana. DB drove his while Cadillac and Reed drove in the Nissan mini-van. DB said that when they arrived a large light skinned male approached on foot, shook their hands, and introduced himself as “Casper”. DB said that he believed that “Casper” was associated with the Rolling 90’s gang. DB said that he and Reed walked into the grassy area of the park and urinated. As they were walking back to the cars, DB thought he saw and heard an individual crouching down in the bushes. DB said that Reed asked “Casper” who was in the bushes and that “Casper” “played stupid” and claimed he didn’t know. DB said he got into his Cadillac while Reed and “Casper” got into the Nissan to do the marijuana deal. DB said that a minute or two later a male emerged from the park area, walked in between their cars into the parking lot, and started firing rounds. Believing he was taking fire, DB drove away southbound at a high rate of speed.

While researching records, detectives identified an individual who used the moniker “Casper” and shared physical similarities (6’02/260) with the individual described by DB as Michael W. Bienhoff (DOB: 7-5-78). Bienhoff was associated with the Rolling 90’s gang. Bienhoff was under active DOC supervision.

Detectives showed DB a montage with Bienhoff. DB identified Bienhoff as “Casper” and the individual who had set up the marijuana deal with reed.

Detectives processed Reed’s cell phone and determined that the last number he was in contact with prior to the shooting was xxx-xxx-xxxx. This number was associated with Bienhoff through his DOC records.

The charging documents state that Bienhoff was arrested on Feb. 28 while meeting with his Department of Corrections officer. He denied that another person was present at the park hiding in the bushes. Bienhoff said he and Reed argued over the price of the marijuana, Reed pulled a gun out of his waistband and the two struggled over it, and Reed was shot in the shoulder.

Bienhoff said he ran away, leaving the gun behind, and that about 45 seconds later he heard a single shot. He also said he gave the backpack full of marijuana to someone at a nearby bus stop, because he wanted to get rid of it.

Bienhoff has prior convictions for first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, violation of the Uniformed Controlled Substances Act, second-degree escape, first-degree theft, and second-degree theft.

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Seattle Police arrest man for Woodland Park murder last week

February 29th, 2012 by Doree

Update 5:30 p.m.: The suspect appeared in court this afternoon for a bail hearing. According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, the Court ordered him held without bail. The Prosecutor has until March 2 (Friday) to file charges.

Earlier: Seattle Police have arrested a 33-year-old man in the murder of a man in Woodland Park last week.

From the SPD Blotter:

During the course of their investigation, Homicide detectives developed information about a possible suspect in last week’s homicide at Woodland Park. On February 28th, detectives contacted and arrested a 33 year old man for that shooting. After being interviewed by detectives, the suspect was booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Murder. This remains an active and ongoing homicide investigation.

Seattlepi.com has a long write-up on the victim and suspect here.

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