Tacoma woman pleads guilty to arson after torching five police cruisers in Seattle, going on vandalism spree in city

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SEATTLE, WA – According to a press release from the Department of Justice, a 26-year-old woman pleaded guilty to arson in late September for her role during a May 2020 riot in Seattle where she torched five police vehicles.

Back in June of 2020, Margaret Aislinn Channon was arrested for setting five Seattle Police vehicles on fire during a riot that was taking place on May 30th, 2020, during the initial spread of protests and riots inspired by the murder of George Floyd.

At the time of Channon’s June 11th, 2020, arrest, U.S. Attorney Brian Moran noted the video evidence obtained at the time that pointed to Channon’s guilt:

“This defendant was captured by multiple cameras using an accelerant, lit like a blowtorch, to start fires in five vehicles – putting the public at risk and creating the very real possibility of a structure fire amidst the throng of people protesting downtown.”

As we reported here at Law Enforcement Today following Channon’s arrest, authorities were able to identify Channon – despite her being masked – by way of some distinct tattoos on her hands and arms that was captured on video.

Furthermore, when authorities executed a search warrant at Channon’s residence, they uncovered some of the same clothing she was wearing when caught on camera during the May 30th riot.

In Channon’s plea agreement, outside of admitting guilt to setting the five police vehicles on fire, she also admitted to stealing clothing from various stores during the riot, smashing the window of a Verizon store, and destroying a cash register that was inside of a local sandwich shop.

Under the terms of Channon’s plea agreement, outside of any time she will have to serve in prison, she is also responsible for restitution for the damages she caused. The restitution amount will be determined when she is formally sentenced.

With Channon pleading guilty to arson, she is facing anywhere between a 5-year minimum sentence to a 20-year maximum. While both the prosecution and the defense have recommended a 5-year sentence for Channon, the sentencing decision will ultimately be left up to U.S. District Judge John Coughenour.

Channon’s sentencing is scheduled for January 18th of 2022.

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Here’s our previous report from June of 2020 that provides more context to the period in which Channon was arrested and the status of Seattle during that time. 

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DOJ: Woman hit with federal charges after setting five police cars on fire in Washington

(Originally published June 12th, 2020)

SEATTLE, WA – A 25-year-old woman from Tacoma, Washington was arrested on June 11th for allegedly setting fire to numerous police vehicles in Seattle toward the end of May while riots and protesting were at their peak in the state.

Authorities say that Margaret Aislinn Channon was responsible for setting five unmarked police vehicles ablaze last month, and is now currently facing federal charges in relation to the alleged acts of arson.

U.S. Attorney Brian Moran stated the following about the case:

“This defendant was captured by multiple cameras using an accelerant, lit like a blowtorch, to start fires in five vehicles – putting the public at risk and creating the very real possibility of a structure fire amidst the throng of people protesting downtown”

The acts were said to have occurred on May 30th near the area of Pine Street and Sixth Avenue in Seattle.

This area where the alleged arson took place happens to be mere blocks from the Pine & 12th Avenue police precinct that local authorities have recently abandoned and was overtaken by the likes of criminals designating the surrounding blocks as the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”

It was through the help of photos and videos of the suspect that police were say they were able to identify Channon as the alleged arsonist.

While the suspect was masked during the riotous destruction, police were able to match a facial profile by way of the suspect’s eyebrows and also unique tattoos emblazoned upon her knuckles.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Raymond Duda noted that while there’s nothing wrong with exercising free speech, committing violent acts and destruction of property is nowhere within that realm of protected speech:

“The number one mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.  The First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to express their opinions and peacefully protest.  What it does not provide is the right to invoke violence under the guise of free speech.”

When authorities executed a search warrant of the home of Channon, they were said to have recovered clothing adorned by the suspect captured in the photos and videos of her alleged acts of arson.

Alongside both local law enforcement and the FBI, the ATF also aided in the investigation. ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Blais commented on the reasoning behind their involvement with the criminal case:

“ATF is the Federal agency primarily responsible for administering and enforcing the criminal and regulatory provisions of the Federal laws pertaining to arson.  Arson is a crime of violence.”

Moran extended accolades to the collaborative efforts of law enforcement to help identify Channon by way of photos and video secured:

“I commend the painstaking work of law enforcement using a variety of images to identify the defendant and locate her so she can be held accountable.”

Channon is formally charged with five federal counts of arson, which a conviction of a single count could result in up to 10 years in a federal prison.

An initial court appearance was scheduled for June 12th reportedly.

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Black teen pleads guilty to second-degree murder after stabbing white college student to death

(Originally published October 3rd, 2021)

NEW YORK CITY, NY – One of the teenagers who was implicated in the killing of 18-year-old Tessa Majors back in 2019 reportedly pleaded guilty to second-degree murder back in September.

The now-16-year-old who pleaded guilty, Luchiano Lewis, was charged as an adult and fill face sentencing later in October.

On September 21st, 16-year-old Lewis entered a guilty plea for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery for the December 11th, 2019 killing of Tessa Majors.

Majors was fatally stabbed in New York City’s Morningside Park during an attempted robbery, where Lewis, who was 14 at the time, said was carried out by himself and two other teens.

One of the teens involved, Zyairr Davis who was reportedly 13 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty in 2020 to robbery charges and is currently serving an 18-month sentence in a juvenile facility.

This leaves only one other alleged participant not having been convicted in Majors’ killing, now-16-year-old Rashaun Weaver.

According to a statement Lewis delivered while in court entering his plea, he alleged that his then-14-year-old classmate at the time, Weaver, was the individual who coaxed him and Davis into “doing robberies with him”, also pointing out that Weaver was the person who stabbed Majors.

Lewis told the court that on two different occasions when Weaver urged him to participate in robberies, he backed out, but then joined in on one failed mugging and then eventually participated in the December 2019 incident that resulted in Majors being killed.

On the night of Majors’ murder, Lewis said he and the others saw her walking in the park while looking down at her cellphone, and Weaver approached her from the rear and kicked her in the back, saying:

“Give me your money! Run your pockets, I’m not playing!”

Lewis claimed that Majors responded with, “Are you seriously trying to rob me?”

A tussle ensued, with Lewis placing Majors in a headlock and Weaver allegedly stabbing her. Lewis told the court that the knife was not part of the plan when robbing the young woman:

“I assumed that Rashaun had a knife on him, but I didn’t see it and using a knife was not part of our plan.”

Lewis further added that on the evening of the incident, he didn’t even know that Majors had been stabbed, let alone died.

It wasn’t until he heard about there being a murder in the park where they robbed Majors that Lewis checked new reports online and saw their victim from the prior evening:

“I realized it was the girl we had robbed.”

The statement delivered to the court by Lewis serves as more evidence that has been piling up against Weaver in the case, which he has pleaded not guilty to. Weaver’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, was also present during Lewis’ guilty plea in court.

Lichtman, who is most known for having previously represented Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is representing Weaver for free – saying that his client who is accused of being the individual who stabbed Majors in her heart doesn’t deserve life in prison:

“This was not a premeditated murder as we heard inside. These were 14-and 13-year-old boys. Let’s make sure to remember that.”

The Majors family issued a statement regarding the second guilty plea achieved in their daughter’s case:

“We are aware of today’s proceeding involving the second guilty plea. We remain resolute in our belief that all parties who bear responsibility for Tess’s senseless death will be held accountable, and we are deeply grateful to the many people who continue to pursue that goal.

In particular, we would like to thank the members of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Police Department for their tireless and thorough efforts. We have maintained confidence in their work from the beginning and appreciate their diligence and the compassion they have shown us.”

According to New York state law, a second-degree murder conviction can carry a prison sentence of 15 to 25 years. Sentencing for Lewis will be carried out on October 14th.


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