King County prosecutors said Gurkeerat Singh Kainth, 23, a convicted felon who was on the run from several arrest warrants, admitted to investigators that he stole a truck Monday night and killed the truck's owner with a gun the owner had stored in the truck's center console.
The truck's owner, Jered Sperling, 38, was standing right next to his running truck, talking to customers of the Kent storage facility he managed with his wife, according to court documents. Kainth entered the truck and as he sped away, Sperling hung from the side of the truck.
"Mr. Kainth drove in a reckless way to try to shake (Sperling) off the back of the car at high speeds and ultimately ended up ending his life by his own admission," said a King County prosecutor, hoping to persuade a judge to charge Kainth with first-degree murder.
Court records show Kainth found a gun in the truck and shot Sperling, who was in the truck's bed. Kainth "dumped" the truck in the parking lot of a Kent apartment complex, two-and-a-half miles from where the truck had been stolen.
Kainth has only been a legal adult for five years, and court records said he's been arrested 10 times. He was charged with stealing cars in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He was arrested once for hit-and-run, and again for leading police on a high-speed chase, which totaled a police car, and for resisting arrest, according to court records.
But after being charged with car theft last year, Kainth was released by a King County judge and he never showed up for a court-ordered community program where he would have been supervised as an alternative to jail.
Kainth is expected to face charges of second-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and theft of a motor vehicle. A King County judge set Kainth's bail at $1 million.
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