Special to the Mountain News from the Pierce County Office of Communications:
TACOMA, WA – The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Samantha Dawn Jones, 29, with murder in the first degree and kidnapping in the first degree for her role in the death of Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney.
“As promised, we are going to hold accountable everyone responsible for the murder of Deputy McCartney,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Numerous detectives and deputies from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department have been tirelessly working this case and will continue to do so. The investigation is ongoing.”
On January 7, 2018, at 11:24 p.m., residents in a home on 45th Ave. Ct. E. called 911 to report intruders. Three adults and two children were in the home at the time. Two suspects demanded money. Both were wearing masks and armed with handguns and “bowie” style knives.
At 11:30 p.m., Deputy Daniel McCartney notified dispatch he arrived in the area. Approximately 3 minutes later, Deputy McCartney notified dispatch that he was in foot pursuit of the suspects. A short time later, he called out “shots fired.” No further transmissions were made.
Other deputies responded to the area and found Deputy McCartney unresponsive. He was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital, and was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound.
Deputies located the body of Henry Carden near McCartney. Carden was also unresponsive. Carden sustained several gunshot wounds, including a gunshot wound to the head. He died from his wounds.
Officers secured the area to locate the other suspect. At approximately 8:10 the next morning, an officer reported a male matching the description of the second suspect walk to his traffic control point. That person was later identified as Frank Pawul. Pawul was taken into custody.
Pawul told officers that he was walking from his girlfriend’s house. Officers were able to identify the woman Pawul referred to as Brenda Troyer.
The investigation revealed calls and text messages between Pawul, Troyer, and a third suspect, Samantha Dawn Jones.
Detectives determined that Jones had an ongoing dispute over drugs with one of the residents at the home where the attempted robbery occurred.
Cell tower and GPS coordinates place Jones’ phone with Carden, Pawul, and Troyer the night of the murder. Pawul, Troyer, and Jones’ phones were registering off the same towers as the vehicle traveled to the home where the break-in happened.
As with Troyer’s phone, Jones’ remained at the scene for some time before 911 was called, then traveled to the same location of Troyer’s after Deputy McCartney arrived.
Both phones also traveled to the area of a nearby Safeway. Surveillance shows Troyer and a woman who matches the description of Jones in the Safeway together.
Detectives located messages between Jones and Pawul after the murder where she is asking where he is and whether he is hiding. Her phone then travels back to the location of the incident.
On Tuesday Jones was arrested without incident with the assistance of the PCSD SWAT team.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.