Shooter sentenced in 2009 homicide at Federal Way Transit Center

Merlin N. Bell, 29, of SeaTac was sentenced on Jan. 6 to 25 years in prison for the September 2009 homicide of De'Von Winston-Parks.

The incident took place at the Federal Way Transit Center on Sept. 17, 2009. Bell and Winston-Parks, 19, argued at the transit center that day. Bell then struck the teen with a gun before shooting him once in the neck and fleeing the scene.

Winston-Parks was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he died.

Bell was arrested at the scene of the crime near some landscaping. He told police he was robbed at gunpoint by Winston-Parks a few days prior, according to charging papers. The incident took place at the Federal Way skate park, Bell told police.

Bell reported he was fearful of Winston-Parks following the robbery and the younger man had uttered threatening words to Bell when he saw him at the transit center. According to charging papers, Bell told police he shot at Winston-Parks because he believed Winston-Parks was reaching for a gun inside his backpack after telling Bell he was going to "pop you." Police were unable to confirm the robbery took place.

Bell was charged with second-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm Sept. 22, 2009. He has a Snohomish County conviction for second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The sentencing range for the homicide and firearms possession ranged from 17 to 25 years.

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