Algona man charged in road rage shooting


Staff writer

A man arrested following a shooting on Peasley Canyon Road after an alleged road rage incident two weeks ago has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree assault.

Michael John Relfe, 59 was arraigned in King County Superior Court last Monday.

Relfe was arrested and charged on suspicion of shooting James Lee, 38, of Federal Way, after a traffic altercation on Peasley Canyon Road July 22.

Relfe told police the altercation began when Lee, who was driving a flatbed truck, sideswiped Relfe’s gold Ford Probe in traffic, according to charging papers.

Relfe said he followed the flatbed to the 4700 block of South 301st Drive, where the men stopped, according to court papers.

Lee exited his vehicle and walked to Relfe’s driver-side window, where the men argued, authorities said. Lee was climbing back into his truck when Relfe pulled a .38 Special and shot him in the back.

A male passenger in Lee’s truck who left on foot during the altercation corroborated Lee’s statements to police when deputies tracked him down, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Greg Dymerski. The passenger was not cited and is not considered a suspect.

According to charging papers, Lee, who survived his wound, called his wife on a cell phone and told her he’d been shot, that he was going to die and that he loved her and his daughter. He then handed the cell phone to Relfe, who apologized for the shooting.

Relfe remained at the scene, where he was arrested. He told deputies he shot Lee in self-defense.

Relfe remains in custody at the Regional Justice Center in Kent on $250,000 bail. His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 19.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and

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