Monday, December 9, 2019
Dec. 9, 2019

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New trial starts for 2 charged in homeless camp killing

Published: January 23, 2019, 9:03am

SEATTLE — A new trial has started for brothers accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding three others at the Seattle homeless encampment known as the Jungle.

The Seattle Times reports James and Jerome Taafulisia are being tried for again on murder and assault charges in connection with the Jan. 26, 2016, shooting deaths of Jeanine Zapata and James Tran.

Phat Nguyen, Tracy Bauer, and Amy Jo Shinault also were shot.

The brothers, who were 16 and 17 at the time, are accused of storming the former camp, accompanied by their 13-year-old brother, with the intent of robbing a drug dealer.

The jury forewoman during the first trial said jurors were split 8-to-4 in favor of convicting the brothers.

A new jury of five women and nine men began hearing testimony Tuesday.

The younger brother was convicted of murder and assault in juvenile court.