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Detectives: Killing of Washington family linked to drugs

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Chad Birkenfeld takes a query from the media throughout a information convention, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Port Orchard, Wash., in regards to the arrests of Danie J. Kelly Jr., Robert J. Watson III, and Johnny J. Watson, for the homicide of members of the Careaga household. (Meegan M.

  • Kitsap County Sheriff's Detective Lt. Chad Birkenfeld takes a question from the media during a news conference, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Port Orchard, Wash., about the arrests of Danie J. Kelly Jr., Robert J. Watson III, and Johnny J. Watson, for the murder of members of the Careaga family. (Meegan M.
  • Johnny J. Watson enters the courtroom of Kitsap Superior Court's Judge Kevin D. Hull on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 in Port Orchard, Wash. Watson, along with and Danie J. Kelly Jr, and Robert J. Watson III were each charged for their roles in the shooting deaths of the four members of the Careaga family. (Meegan M.
  • Robert J. Watson III enters the courtroom of Kitsap Superior Court's Judge Kevin D. Hull on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Port Orchard, Wash. Watson, along with Johnny J. Watson and Danie J. Kelly Jr., were each charged for their roles in the shooting deaths of the four members of the Careaga family. (Meegan M.
  • Danie J. Kelly Jr. stares at the gallery as he enters the courtroom of Kitsap Superior Court's Judge Kevin D. Hull on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Port Orchard, Wash. Kelly, along with Robert J. Watson III and Johnny J. Watson, were each charged for their roles in the shooting deaths of the four members of the Careaga family. (Meegan M.
  • Carly Schaap talks to the media about the arrest of Danie J. Kelly Jr., Robert J. Watson III and Johnny J. Watson for their roles in the shooting death of her 16-year-old son Hunter Schapp as well as three other members of the Careaga family, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Port Orchard, Wash. (Meegan M.
  • Carly Schaap, center, is embraced by friends and family after becoming overcome with emotion after talking to the media about the arrest of Danie J. Kelly Jr., Robert J. Watson III and Johnny J. Watson for their roles in the shooting death of her 16-year-old son Hunter Schapp, as well as three other members of the Careaga family, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Port Orchard, Wash. (Meegan M.

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — Three males accused of killing a Washington state household 5 years in the past pleaded not responsible Tuesday, as detectives asserted the killings have been about “medicine and cash” and warned that additional arrests may come for “individuals who have been dishonest with us.”

The 4 members of the blended Careaga household have been discovered executed in January 2017 — Christale Careaga, 37, and two 16-year-old boys, Johnathon Higgins and Hunter Schaap, inside their burned-out house on the Kitsap Peninsula west of Seattle; and Christale’s husband, John Careaga, 43, in his torched pickup truck at a tree farm two days later.

Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives on Monday arrested Danie J. Kelly Jr., 43; Robert J. Watson III, 50; and Watson’s brother Johnny J. Watson, 49. The trio pleaded not responsible to felony counts that embody aggravated homicide, arson and housebreaking on Tuesday. Superior Court docket Choose Kevin Hull ordered them held with out bail.

“We’ve needed solutions for the previous 5 years,” Carly Schaap, Hunter’s mom, stated Tuesday, in accordance with the Kitsap Solar newspaper. “These are terrible people who dedicated heinous crimes in opposition to 4 individuals and shook our neighborhood.”

You are reading: Detectives: Killing of Washington family linked to drugs

The Careagas owned Juanito’s Taqueria, a profitable Mexican restaurant in Bremerton. In court docket paperwork reported by the newspaper, detectives described John Careaga as “a household man” who “stood up for himself” — however who additionally had a sideline bringing a kilo of cocaine from California each couple months to promote regionally.

An in depth buddy of Careaga started promoting the cocaine to suspect Robert Watson, whom detectives recognized as a frontrunner in a neighborhood chapter of the Bandidos motorbike membership, authorities stated. Careaga’s buddy ultimately stopped promoting, and the following time Careaga went to California to get the medicine, Watson took a visit there “on John’s heels,” and dialogue between the 2 intensified till the day of the homicides, in accordance with investigators.

John Careaga’s legal professional informed authorities that Careaga had hidden lots of of hundreds of {dollars} beneath his house, however that cash was by no means discovered, investigators stated.

In line with the court docket information, Robert Watson, an worker of Kitsap County Public Works, stopped going to work and was in the end fired in September 2017. Detectives stated about $303,000 was deposited into his accounts that 12 months, and that there have been “quite a few money deposits that the supply couldn’t be recognized.”

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One of many defendants, Kelly, was related to the Bandidos as a “hang-around” — Robert Watson was sponsoring his membership within the group, detectives stated. He additionally was as soon as an excellent buddy of Careaga, even serving as the very best man at Careaga’s first wedding ceremony, earlier than a falling out.

“The motive for the crime is difficult — it’s involving medicine, cash, there’s undoubtedly some character conflicts,” Kitsap County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Lissa Gundrum stated at a information convention Tuesday.

Gundrum stated she had lengthy recognized of Kelly’s involvement within the case, however that in depth investigation involving cellphone location information, interviews and different proof was required to assist decide who else may need been culpable.

Kelly purchased a pay as you go cell phone that was used to speak nearly solely with John Careaga for the ten days main as much as the killings, court docket paperwork stated. Additional, detectives wrote, a neighbor of the Careagas who heard the gunshots on the home reported seeing John Careaga’s truck dashing away, with Kelly on the wheel and one other automobile following shut behind.

“Danie and John hated one another such that Danie would don’t have any enterprise being at John’s home or driving his truck,” detectives wrote in a possible trigger assertion.

Unanswered questions stay in regards to the case — together with the place John Careaga and his truck have been held earlier than being discovered on the tree farm, Gundrum stated: “We all know that there’s one other crime scene someplace. We all know that there’s extra individuals which might be both concerned or have data.”

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She additionally warned that extra arrests may come.

“These individuals who have been dishonest with us or perhaps held again, we’re requesting they step ahead now and supply the data we want,“ Gundrum stated. “I perceive why perhaps that they had some misgivings initially, however now could be actually the time.”

The president of the native Bandidos chapter cooperated within the investigation, she stated. She heard from membership members that they received’t stand for a member who kills ladies and youngsters.

“I don’t essentially suppose that is club-related,” she stated. “I believe these simply occur to be members of the Bandidos membership.”

Aggravated homicide carries a sentence of life in jail with out the potential of launch.

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