A jury is expected to be selected this week for the trial of two young men (juggalos) charged with beating Noel Lopez to death in the 900 block of Seventh Avenue, according to prosecutors.
Lopez died April 14, 2008 — a result of an intense beating that caused injuries to the 25-year-old’s brain and caused a fractured rib to pierce a lung, according to court documents.
Steven D. Bauder, 25, and Marcus D. Dennis, 22, have been charged with first-degree murder.
Bauder is a “Juggalo” — a follower of the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse — and “referred to himself as an ‘enforcer’ and ‘protector’ of kids on the street,” Detective Russ Weklych wrote in a probable cause document.
Court documents state Bauder has a tattoo of a running hatchet man, meaning he is a fan and follower of the Insane Clown Posse and their label, Psychopathic Records.
After Lopez wrestled the men in separate matches at Freeway Park, they went to get beer and walked to a Seventh Avenue construction site, police say.
Bauder allegedly said that Lopez lunged at him first while they were at the site.
“Bauder gave a detailed videotaped statement where he admitted to the attack on the victim … but attempted to minimize his involvement in the attack,” Weklych wrote.
Dennis allegedly told police that Bauder took Lopez to the construction site to talk about what he was doing with girls on the street. A 15-year-old friend of Dennis — a girl he described as his street sister — had complained to him about Lopez’s behavior, according to court documents.
Court documents state the beating that killed Lopez lasted hours, despite his pleas to stop.
Two days after Lopez’s body was found by workers at the construction site, a 23-year-old man came to police saying he heard the attackers bragging and laughing about the beating at a Seattle youth homeless shelter.
Police arrested Bauder without incident in Federal Way the following week. Dennis, whose only previous Washington case is a theft charge in Seattle Municipal Court, was arrested on Fourth Avenue.
Opening statements in the case are expected later this month.