Bellingham murder suspect makes first appearance in court
The Whatcom County man suspected of shooting and killing a 32-year-old man Jan. 31 outside a house on Old Marine Drive near Bellingham is being held in Whatcom County Jail without bail after making his first appearance Wednesday in Whatcom County Superior Court.
Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Richey asked that Cody Mitchell Brock, 31, who was arrested early Wednesday in Kent and is facing one count of first-degree murder, be held without bail because he’s dangerous.
Richey said the Washington State Constitution states that “in any case bail may be denied for offenses punishable by the possibility of life in prison upon showing of clear, convincing evidence that the propensity for violence creates a substantial likelihood of danger to the community for any persons.”
“We could certainly show that Mr. Brock is a danger to the community, as I’ve just described,” Richey said.
Whatcom County Senior Deputy Public Defender Richard Larson reserved argument on Brock’s bail.
Brock is suspected of shooting Dustin M. Wilson in the back and head four times early Jan. 31 in the 1100 block of Old Marine Drive, resulting in Wilson’s death.
A woman who was with Wilson at the time of the shooting also suffered a single gunshot injury to her stomach in the incident and was taken to St. Joseph hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Whatcom County Court Commissioner Pro Tem Pamela Englett appointed Brock a public defender. His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 15. A no-contact order also was put in place between Brock and the witnesses in the case.
The maximum penalty for first-degree murder is 20 years to life in prison.
Suspect arrested in Kent
Brock was arrested at approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday in a Kent hotel by the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Offender Task Force and the Bellingham Office of the FBI, according to a press release from Undersheriff Jeff Parks.
According to Wednesday’s press release, the Sheriff’s Office worked with the Violent Offender Task Force and FBI to follow up on numerous tips and leads before locating Brock in Kent on Wednesday.
“Thank you to all in the community who assisted in helping bring this dangerous criminal to justice,” Sheriff Bill Elfo wrote in a Facebook post. “The work of the deputies along with the U.S. Marshal’s Office and FBI are a great example of inter-agency cooperation.”
Video appears to show shooting
According to Whatcom County Superior Court documents filed Friday, Wilson was found by responding sheriff’s deputies laying on the front door entry to the house with a gunshot wound to the left side of his head and three to the right side of his torso.
Security video footage from outside the house showed a person arrive at approximately 1:30 a.m. and hide behind some bushes just out of view of the camera, court documents state. At approximately 1:42 a.m., a vehicle arrives, and about a minute later, Wilson and two women get out of the car and walk up to the front door. As the three walk out of view of one of the cameras, a lone male believed to be Brock emerges from the bushes, records state.
A second camera shows the man believed to be Brock run up behind the trio with a silver handgun in his right hand, court records state. Footage showed a recoil, as if the gun had been fired, and the man believed to be Brock is seen running away from the house moments later.
A witness who was in the house told deputies the shooter, who he did not recognize but described as a 5-foot-11 white male, stood over and fired the gun at Wilson’s body, court documents state. It is believed a revolver was used in the shootings, as no casings were found at the scene and the video footage didn’t show anybody collecting them.
During the investigation, the Sheriff’s office learned that there had been a months-long dispute between Brock and Wilson over the intimate and personal relationships each had with a woman, documents state, and that several people said they had heard Brock threaten to kill Wilson.
Court documents cite witness
At approximately 11 p.m. on the night of the shooting, Brock was with a witness who later spoke to the sheriff’s office, according to the court documents, and Brock asked if the witness wanted to get high on methamphetamine. The witness reportedly refused, and Brock left at about 11:20 p.m.
The witness told deputies that Brock returned at approximately 2 a.m., according to court records, and said that he had shot Wilson and fled the scene in a friend’s vehicle after shooting five times. Brock also reportedly told the witness he was wearing a bulletproof vest and was aware that he had killed Wilson but not that he had shot the woman who was injured.
Brock told the witness that he discarded his phones, the gun and his clothing, according to the court documents, and even bragged that the shooting was captured on surveillance cameras he knew were at the scene.
According to court records, Brock is scheduled to face a jury trial Feb. 11 for a charge of second-degree strangulation assault and two charges for harassment from an Aug. 15 incident and a charge of bail jumping from Oct. 31. He also has Whatcom County felony convictions for second-degree burglary, second-degree assault, witness tampering, violation of a protection order and bail jumping from 2008.