4 of 5 defendants take deals in January murder

Grand Rapids
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An undated courtesy photo of James King.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Four of the five people charged in connection to the death of an East Kentwood High School student early this year took plea agreements Tuesday.

Alanah Claflin pleaded guilty to armed robbery. Charges of murder, assault with intent to commit robbery while armed and conspiracy to commit armed robbery will be dropped.

Sebastian Quinones pleaded guilty to armed robbery. Charges of murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery will be dropped.

Kayleb Sims pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit robbery while armed. Charges of murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery will be dropped.

Ahmed Hasan pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit robbery while armed. Charges of murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery will be dropped.

All four are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 23.

The suspected shooter in the case, Israel Valdez, has not entered in to a deal. He faces charges of open murder, assault with intent to commit robbery while armed and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. He has a status conference set for Oct. 8 and is still scheduled to stand trial starting Oct. 21.

The five were charged in the Jan. 13 death of James King, 17, who was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Towne & Country Shopping Center on Grand Rapids’ South Side. King’s cousin told News 8 that they were selling marijuana when a customer tried to rob them and shot King in the head.

At the time, all of the suspects were 17 or 18.

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