GRPD: Last suspect in EK student's murder in custody

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The last suspect in murder of an East Kentwood High School senior is in custody.

In a Monday afternoon tweet,  Grand Rapids police announced 17-year-old Kayleb Sims had turned  himself in. Sims faces charges of open murder, assault with intent to  rob while armed and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in connection to  the death of 17-year-old James King.

Police believe Sims was the one driving the Dodge Magnum King was sitting in when he was shot.

King’s  cousin told 24 Hour News 8 they were selling marijuana in the parking  lot of the Towne & Country Shopping Center in Grand Rapids when a  customer tried to rob them, shooting King in the head.

Court documents indicate 17-year-old Israel Valdez, 18-year-old Alanah Claflin-Gallagos, 17-year-old Ahmed Hasan and Sims had planned to rob King during the deal. Investigators say they were in Hasan’s vehicle with King when Valdez shot King in the face. King then either fell out or was pushed out of the car, the documents state.

After the shooting, Sims allegedly sped away from the scene, detectives stated in court documents.

King’s  cousin said he held King in the parking lot at Kalamazoo Avenue and  44th Street SE as he waited for rescuers to arrive. King died at the  scene.

Valdez turned himself in to police Saturday. Police previously arrested Claflin-Gallagos and Hasan.

Valdez'  mother, Jennifer Valdez, has also been charged with lying to a peace  officer in a violent crime investigation for allegedly telling  detectives she didn’t know any of the other suspects, or have contact  with them. However, police say Jennifer Valdez spoke with  Claflin-Gallagos and was aware of her involvement in the murder.

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