JBLM deserter now charged with murdering RediCab driver

TUKWILA, Wash. — The solider who deserted Joint Base Lewis McChord in January is now charged with the murder of a Redicab driver.

Former Sgt. Jonathan Kang Lee is currently in custody at JBLM serving a 64-year sentence after being convicted of child sex crimes.

Lee deserted JBLM before he was sentenced in that case. He allegedly killed RediCab driver Nick Hokema and took his vehicle.

Hokema’s body was found outside Southcenter Mall in Tukwila on Jan. 15. Hokeman’s RediCab was later found in Redmond.

Lee was taken into custody Jan. 26 after he had been sentenced in abenstia for child sex crimes.

The U.S. Army Office of Special Trial Counsel has preferred 7 charges against Lee. A spokesperson says the general nature of the charges is the premeditated murder of Nicholas Hokema, robbery, resisting arrest, desertion, wrongful use of a controlled substance and two counts of failure to obey a lawful order in violation of Articles 118, 85, 87a, 112a, and 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The OSTC also tells KIRO 7 the charges are allegations right now and that Lee is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“If they had taken this seriously as they should’ve in the first place, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,” Nicole Sharkody, Hokema’s partner, said.

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