Jewelry used in rap video led to assault, robbery
An $18,000 piece of jewelry worn during the filming of a rap music video led to a robbery and assault that included theft of the victim’s pants, according to court documents filed Friday.
Spokane police gang unit members as well as police and sheriff SWAT teams raided two homes Thursday in an ongoing investigation targeting eight suspects.
Three suspects, Monica R. “Boo” Sanders, 32, Tasha M. Tensley, 26, and Roderick J. Thomas, 21, remain in Spokane County Jail on $75,000 bond each after appearing in court Friday. Police still were looking for five others late Friday.
The group is accused of beating Jeffrey J. Frazier, 29, and shocking him with a stun gun before stealing his jewelry, including the diamond-studded, acorn-shaped gold medallion, then removing his jeans.
Superior Court Judge Michael Price called the apparently unprovoked attack “very serious and frightening” before approving prosecutors’ bail requests Friday.
Frazier spent two days in intensive care with a broken bone around his eye and underwent surgery to correct double vision, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by police.
He told police he encountered the group after arranging to make a music video with Stanley A. “Brutus” Tensley.
Tensley accompanied Frazier to a safe deposit box to retrieve the jewelry and asked about the value of the jewelry. A couple days later, on Aug. 16, Frazier said he was attacked at Tensley’s home at 1818 E. 5th Ave. after drinking with the group at Goodtymes Pub, 9214 E. Mission Ave.
Frazier said Laron D. Mason, a friend of Stanley Tensley’s, pulled him from his car and pistol-whipped him, then, with the help of Sanders, Tasha Tensley and Star G. Higdon, pulled off his designer Ed Hardy jeans, which had $350 inside a pocket, according to the affidavit.
The group also allegedly stole Frazier’s medallion and chain, as well as three diamond-studded gold rings.
Frazier escaped to a nearby home, where the residents called 911.
Police officers found him without pants, then found Mason running up the hill from Liberty Park.
Mason, 22, had the gold medallion but wasn’t arrested after he told police Frazier had argued with three men at a Spokane Valley bar before continuing the fight in Liberty Park, according to court documents. Mason said he’d tried to break up the fight, which was over rap music, and had gotten Frazier’s blood on him.
On Aug. 24, two men sold Frazier’s medallion for $700 at a Sprague Avenue pawn shop.
One of the men was identified as Thomas, who was arrested Thursday during a raid at 1024 N. Napa St. Sanders and Tasha Tensley also were arrested Thursday at 1818 E. 5th Ave.
The three suspects each face charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, riot, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.
Thomas’s public defender, Kari Reardon, said evidence shows Thomas only sold the stolen medallion, not that he participated in the attack.
“I’m pretty convinced that Mr. Thomas was not involved in the assault portion of it and what he’s guilty of is trafficking in stolen property,” Reardon said,
Police identified Thomas as a gang member, but Reardon said he denies being in a gang.
“He does have some friends that are gang members, but he assures me that he is not a member of a gang,” Reardon said.