Charges: Teen disappointed murdered man's phone wasn't nicer

Charges: Teen disappointed murdered man's phone wasn't nicer
Byron White

SEATTLE -- The 17-year-old accused of killing a 54-year-old man during an attempted robbery Feb. 23 in Seattle was charged with murder as an adult Wednesday. Charging documents filed with the King County Superior Court reveal a number of new details about the tragic incident.

According to the documents, Byron White tried to steal David Peterson's cellphone in a pet-store parking lot while Peterson was out for a walk around his Greenwood neighborhood. When Peterson refused to give up his phone, White walked away.

But, White returned when he heard Peterson on the phone with 911 reporting the attempted robbery. According to the charging documents, White shot Peterson once in the chest while Peterson was still talking to the 911 operator, grabbed Peterson's phone and ran off.

Police arrived to find Peterson's body on the pavement.

According to the charging documents, White fled to a residence a few blocks away where he told three companions about the incident. He reportedly told them he had to shoot Peterson because Peterson saw his face. He also reportedly expressed disappointment Peterson's phone was not a nicer model.

White was arrested March 1 while attempting to catch a plane to Atlanta, according to the documents.

On Wednesday, he was charged with murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and attempted robbery. He is being charged as an adult due to the violent nature of the crime and is facing 27 to 35 years in prison.

“David Peterson went out for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner and never returned,” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a press release. “He was a random victim from a chance encounter with a dangerous young man. That the evidence shows he was murdered for his cellphone by a teenager with a gun makes this all the more tragic and senseless.”

White is scheduled for arraignment March 17 and is being held on $2 million bail.