Man charged with murder in Federal Way rock throwing death

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A 57-year-old man is facing a murder charge after prosecutors said he threw a “fist-sized” rock at another man’s head, killing him.

Judi Kilma is being charged with second-degree murder and is accused of killing 33-year-old Joseph Simmons.

According to court records, at around 8:10 p.m. on Sept. 19, Puget Sound Regional firefighters and Kent police were called to a Chevron located in the 27100 block of Military Road South after someone called 911 and reported finding an unconscious man outside the convenience store who appeared to be suffering from a possible drug overdose.

When police and firefighters arrived, they found a man lying in the parking lot and bleeding from his head. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where surgery was performed to treat his “traumatic brain injury.”

Police said they were approached by a man who identified the victim as his friend. The man told police that he heard the victim had been struck in the head with a rock during an altercation with another man at a Safeway store located in the 28800 block of Military Road in Federal Way.

Federal Way police went to the Safeway, where no evidence of an assault was found.

However, they did talk with another person who did not have any direct knowledge of the incident but told police that there was a person in the area who was known to “routinely throw rocks at people.” That person was determined to be Kilma, according to court records.

After investigators looked through surveillance video from Chevron, which revealed that Simmons had arrived at the convenience store with another person in a Black Honda Accord. That person went inside the store, bought ice and told the cashier that he needed it for his friend who was struck in the head with a rock, court papers state.

When fire medics arrived, the driver of the Black Honda drove off, leaving Simmons to be treated.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Simmons died from his injuries at Harborview Medical Center. He never regained consciousness, court records state.

According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Simmons died due to sustaining an “epidural hematoma, with an accompanying head laceration and skull fracture, consistent with his having been struck by a blunt object.”

Investigators found out while interviewing Simmons’ friend with the Honda Accord that he had met Simmons on Sept. 19 outside the Safeway, where the victim and Kilma, who was on a bicycle, were arguing.

According to the friend, Simmons was gesturing with a knife and telling Kilma to get away from him. The friend recalled that Simmons had told Kilma that he had used a knife to puncture a tire on Kilma’s bicycle.

However, Kilma returned minutes later, removed a “fist-sized” rock from his jacket and threw it at Simmons, hitting him in the head.

According to court records, the friend told police that he and Simmons had to went to the Chevron in Kent for ice after others who were nearby had restrained Kilma.

Simmons is said to have remained in the car smoking fentanyl while his friend went inside to get ice and later called 911 to report the incident.

According to police, surveillance video showed that Simmons had produced a knife and appeared to stab Kilma’s front bicycle tire. It also showed Kilma walking away while Simmons remained seated on the curb.

Kilma then placed his bicycle against a wall and returned after getting something off the ground.

Shortly after, Kilma threw a large rock directly at Simmons from approximately 15 feet away. Surveillance video also showed Kilma retrieving another rock from his jacket but before he could throw that rock, he was restrained by bystanders and eventually left the area in a pickup with another person who had parked a distance away.

Kilma was eventually arrested without incident on Oct. 1 in Kent after a suspect bulletin was released, investigators said.

According to court records, Kilma later admitted to throwing the rock at Simmons “because he was angry with him cutting his bicycle tire, but did not intend to kill him.”

Prosecutors requested Kilma’s bail to be set at $2 million but a judge set it at $250,000.

Kilma’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19.