A 31-year-old Federal Way man, suspected in a fatal shooting from 2021, was arrested Sept. 29 and indicted in federal court on suspicion of drug and gun charges.
Donald “DJ” Watters was arrested Thursday in Fife. He is charged with meth possession (at least 5 grams) with intent to distribute and possession of a gun (a black Sig Sauer 9mm handgun) in furtherance of drug trafficking, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Watters has plead not guilty to those charges.
Watters was arrested on the drug and gun charges, but an FBI agent testified at a recent detention hearing that he is also the suspect in the fatal shooting, DOJ spokesperson Emily Langlie said in an email.
Federal Way police began investigating Watters following a fatal shooting in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Nov. 19, 2021, according to prosecutors in the case, which remains under investigation by police and the FBI.
Brian Skinner, 32, died from a gunshot wound to the head and the King County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled his death a homicide. He died on Nov. 21, 2021 at Harborview Medical Center, two days after he was shot.
Skinner and others had gone to an apartment Watters shared with his girlfriend to reportedly purchase drugs. During the interaction, gunfire was exchanged between both Skinner and the shooter, according to officials. After the shooting, police reportedly found drugs and guns in Watters’ apartment.
Due to the quantity of meth involved, Watters faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and could receive a sentence up to 40 years. The firearm charge adds a separate, consecutive five-year mandatory minimum, so if convicted of both charges, Watters would face at least a decade behind bars.
Watters is scheduled for trial Monday, Dec. 5, and he is detained pending trial, according to the DOJ. The judge in the case ordered Watters to be detained until trial after determining he poses a risk of not appearing in court and a risk of danger to the community.