Two men plead not guilty to killing of Federal Way man at Golden Kent Motel

Rivers, Swafford each have extensive criminal histories

Two men each pleaded not guilty on Monday to first-degree murder charges in the fatal shooting of a Federal Way man last month at the Golden Kent Motel.

Stonney Marcus Rivers, 50, and Theneious Swafford, 47, entered their pleas in King County Superior Court at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Rivers and Swafford remain in the county jail with bail denied. The two are scheduled to return to court Dec. 18 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.

Rivers is a convicted felon who was sentenced to life in prison under Washington state’s three-strikes law. That sentence, however, was commuted by then-Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2013 during her final days in office. Rivers, who has extensive criminal history, was released from prison in early 2015.

Swafford, who also has extensive criminal history, was under supervision by the state Department of Corrections.

David A. Cabrera, 24, was found dead on Nov. 2 in a Golden Kent Motel room, 22203 84th Ave. S. He died from a gunshot wound of the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Rivers allegedly fired the shot that killed Cabrera, in an apparent drug deal gone bad. Swafford reportedly drove the sedan that helped Rivers escape. Kent Police used surveillance video from the motel to help track down and arrest the two men.

Rivers told detectives that he was at the motel to get some crystal meth. He said he went there to buy drugs and not to hurt or kill anyone and didn’t know someone was dead.

Prosecutors also charged Rivers with second-degree assault for allegedly pointing a gun at Cabrera’s girlfriend at the motel room and threatening to shoot her. After the threat, Cabrera moved toward Rivers, who then then reportedly shot him.

The criminal history for Rivers includes second-degree robbery in 1985 and 1986, second-degree assault in 1989, second-degree robbery in 1994, first-degree robbery in 1995 and second-degree assault in 1995. A conviction in the murder of Cabrera would again subject Rivers to a sentence of life in prison without the the possibility of parole, according to charging papers.

If convicted in this case, Swafford would suffer at least his third strike and face a possible sentence of life in prison without parole. He was convicted of second-degree assault in 1991 and first-degree robbery in 2003, according to court documents.

More in News

Breaking the Chains

Federal Way Coalition Against Trafficking hosts annual 5K fundraiser

Candidate filings draw primary race for 30th District state Senate seat

Representative positions have contested races for general election

Some King County elected leaders want to spend $180 million on maintenance upkeep at Safeco Field in Seattle. Photo by HyunJae Park/Flickr
King County leaders want to allocate $180 million to Safeco Field

But once councilmember thinks funding for affordable housing and the arts should come before subsidizing stadium maintenance.

Teachers, parents share concerns over IEP, safety issues in Federal Way Public Schools

Superintendent Tammy Campbell said the district working to address the matter.

King County considers buying 65,000 acres for conservation

The proposed plan would protect forests, trails, shorelines, and farms.

Brazen thief steals leaf blower from front yard

The following is a sample from the Federal Way police log: In… Continue reading

Five members of Troop 361 become Eagle Scouts

Five Boys Scouts from Troop 361 have earned the rank of Eagle… Continue reading

Federal Way woman gets new wheelchair ramp

Volunteers took part in Rampathon throughout King, Snohomish counties last Saturday

Girl Scout Troop brings color to Federal Way with lending libraries

Small book houses were installed at six parks for Silver Award Project

Most Read