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Updated Monday, January 14, 2013 at 09:47 AM

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting at Bellevue Square bar

By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Charged with fatally shooting a man inside a crowded Bellevue bar on Christmas Eve, Ja'Mari Alexander-Alan Jones had been the focus of a police manhunt for more than a week.

Authorities said reports on the 19-year-old Renton man's whereabouts ranged from his having fled the state to disguising himself as a woman, but no tips panned out.

The search finally ended on Wednesday night after a routine license-plate check by Lakewood police.

"This was a police officer who was just out on his shift working, running plates, and he came across a stolen car. Lo and behold, look who was in there," said Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate.

Jones was behind the wheel of a Toyota Corolla reported stolen out of Auburn. He and his passenger, identified as his girlfriend, 20-year-old Maliesha Imunique Saleem, were arrested and turned over to Bellevue police.

Jones was booked into the King County Jail early Thursday morning on a second-degree-murder charge. If convicted, he faces up to 28 years in prison. His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.

Saleem was booked into the King County Jail on investigation of rendering criminal assistance and possession of a stolen vehicle. She is scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing Friday afternoon.

Jones was charged last week with fatally shooting DeShawn Milliken, 30, in the Mirror Lounge at Munchbar, a restaurant in Bellevue Square. Witnesses and surveillance video were used to identify Jones as a suspect, according to police.

Video footage shows Jones talking with a man near Milliken and his younger sister, Destiny Milliken, 21, according to the court papers. DeShawn Milliken seemed to recognize Jones and then tackled him. His sister appeared to fight with the other man, Michael Cheatham, who had entered the bar with Jones.

About eight seconds later, DeShawn Milliken turned away from Jones, but was then tackled by Cheatham.

That's when Jones brandished a gun, pointed it at DeShawn Milliken and fired at least five shots, according to charging papers. Milliken died at the scene, according to the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

When he was a juvenile, Jones was one of three teens who pleaded guilty in April 2009 to manslaughter in the death of 53-year-old Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael. The street musician was beaten during an October 2008 robbery near Seattle Center and later died of his injuries.

Jones, Billy Chambers and Kenneth Kelly served time in Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration detention for McMichael's death. (Chambers, 19, is in federal custody on a separate firearms violation.)

Because no witnesses came forward, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said, his office was forced to charge the three teens as juveniles instead of seeking to have them charged as adults, which would have carried longer sentences.

Since serving time for McMichael's death, Jones has remained relatively crime-free. According to court records, he was cited in May with operating a vehicle without a license and failure to renew an expired vehicle registration.

Milliken was a former Garfield High School homecoming king, student-body vice president, football star and an honor student.

He also had a minor part in the Mardi Gras riots in Seattle's Pioneer Square in 2001. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and rioting and was given a one-year deferred sentence, served no jail time and was ordered to do 30 days of community service.

Bellevue Square owner Kemper Development Co. and the owners of Munchbar said they have agreed to not reopen the restaurant and bar.

"Both parties determined this would be best for the community, guests and the families involved," according to a statement released Thursday morning.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.



Ja'mari Jones





Ja'Mari Jones




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