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Teenager Faces Charges As Adult In Fatal Beating

Fri., Nov. 21, 1997

A 17-year-old was remanded to adult court Thursday in the beating death of another teen near Spanaway.

The youth will be arraigned today, said Michele Jones in the Pierce County prosecutor’s office.

Booked into Pierce County Jail on Wednesday for investigation of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, he was in custody Thursday at Remann Hall, a juvenile detention center.

Authorities believe Gary L. Wilbur, 19, was fatally beaten after an argument over money he had borrowed or taken from a relative about a year ago, sheriff’s spokesman Curt Benson said.

“Whether there’s any truth to this, I wouldn’t know,” Benson said.

Wilbur died Wednesday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle of injuries suffered when he was attacked with a shovel handle.

Benson said Wilbur invited his cousin and her boyfriend - the 17-year-old - to his home Tuesday night.

The three were drinking, and when an argument among them turned violent, they woke up Wilbur’s 14-year-old brother. The boy was injured in the fracas - his broken nose and facial bruises prompted the assault charge - but made it to a neighbor’s house for help.

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