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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

January 3, 2011 at 4:43 PM

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Man charged with shooting couple on Maple Valley trail

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

An 18-year-old Maple Valley man who is accused of shooting and wounding a couple on the Lake Wilderness Trail on Dec. 27 was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree assault.

According to court documents, a 16-year-old girl and her 18-year-old boyfriend were on the trail when they ran in to Shayne D. Willis, and his friend, another 18-year-old man. The boyfriend accused Willis' friend of being a member of a particular gang, according to court documents.

Willis, who was dressed in a suit and wearing a fedora hat while walking on the trail, allegedly warned the couple that he was armed and then showed them his gun, police and prosecutors say. Willis told the couple he would count to three and then fire if they were still there, court documents say.

When Willis got to three, he fired one round, which went through the boyfriend's shoulder and struck the girl in the head, according to the King County Sheriff's Office. The boyfriend called 911 at 1:32 p.m. Deputies said neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

When sheriff's investigators questioned Willis he said that he's not in a gang, but is a former "Juggalo," a nickname for fans of the Detroit-based heavy metal/rap duo Insane Clown Posse. Investigators, in their report, said Willis carried a wallet with the Insane Clown Posse logo embossed on it. Deputies say he also has several tattoos on his neck and arm which are "representative of the Juggalo gang," charging papers said.

Sheriff's Detective Jake Pavlovich wrote in his report that "Juggalo gang members typically wear suits and fedora-style hats to identify themselves as members."

Willis' friend wore a hat and necklace featuring "a running hatchet man," a symbol associated with the Insane Clown Posse and Juggalos, charges said.

Willis was booked at King County Jail for investigation of assault. According to prosecutors, he is being housed in the psychiatric ward at the King County Jail.

Willis' friend, who The Seattle Times is not identifying because he has not been charged, was taken into custody but was not booked into jail.

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