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Federal Way man pleads not guilty to fatal shooting

Bernard Bellerouche stands with his attorney as he enters the not-guilty plea to first-degree murder. Bellerouche was arraigned on June 12 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. - Raechel Dawson, the Mirror
Bernard Bellerouche stands with his attorney as he enters the not-guilty plea to first-degree murder. Bellerouche was arraigned on June 12 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
— image credit: Raechel Dawson, the Mirror

The convicted felon accused of killing 27-year-old Demario Washington pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder this morning.

Bernard Bellerouche, 28, was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, which he also denied at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

U.S. Marshals arrested him in Kennewick on May 24 and booked into Benton County Jail after police announced him as a suspect in the May 7 shooting at the Silver Shadow Apartments in Federal Way.

Washington died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Federal Way detectives, along with Valley SWAT members, attempted to serve a warrant on Bellerouche’s last known residence in the 27800 block of Pacific Highway S. but Bellerouche wasn’t there.

Bellerouche was identified by police after interviewing with “numerous witnesses.”

Police believe Bellerouche is also connected to the May 13 homicide of Marine George J. Gabriel, 22, who was on military leave. Gabriel was at the Mariposa Apartments in Federal Way at the time of the shooting and was transported to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died.

Bellerouche may also have been involved in a shooting that injured a 28-year-old man in Des Moines, police said. The man was shot in an “uninvolved” vehicle.

His bail was set at $2 million because of his long criminal history of assaults, robbery, harassment, theft and others, according to court documents.

 

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