Man pleads not guilty to Issaquah murder

The 29-year-old was caught, allegedly fleeing to Mexico, after the murder of an Issaquah man.

A 29-year-old man, accused of killing an Issaquah native, pleaded not guilty Monday after he was extradited to Washington following an alleged attempt to flee the country.

Rigoberto Rodriguez-Macedo is charged with second-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm after he allegedly shot and killed Christopher Rea, a local business owner, on Oct. 8. Rodriguez-Macedo was caught north of Los Angeles on Oct. 10, supposedly on his way to Mexico, court documents say.

Rodriguez-Macedo remains in jail on a $2 million bail with a case scheduling hearing set for Nov. 13. King County convicted Rodriguez-Macedo of a previous felony, second-degree burglary, in March which prohibited him from owning or possessing a firearm. He may also have a DUI out of Idaho from 2010, court documents say.

Rea was a 43-year-old who graduated from Issaquah High School in 1994 and started King Landscaping the same year. Rodriguez-Macedo’s brother, who reported the murder, claims that Rodriguez-Macedo was angry at Rea for unpaid work he had done for King Landscaping.

“In the present case, the defendant appears to have shot the victim for no other reason than a belief that the victim owed him wages,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Castleton in charging papers. “After the shooting, the defendant attempted to discard the murder weapon and then fled the state in an effort to avoid apprehension.”

Rodriguez-Macedo’s brother claims to have partially witnessed the murder and called 911 to report Rea’s death. Initially the brother, who lived with Rea in an attached apartment, said he came home to find Rea dead, but later admitted he was home during the murder, in an interview with police.

The brother, Rodriguez-Macedo and his girlfriend were in the attached apartment when Rodriguez-Macedo allegedly grabbed his brother’s .22 rifle, murdered Rea and fled the scene with his girlfriend.

Police located Rodriguez-Macedo’s truck in Carnation and interviewed the girlfriend. They later found that Rodriguez-Macedo had told a friend on Oct. 9 “he had just purchased a new cell phone and was leaving everything behind and going to Mexico,” according to court documents.

“[This] is corroborated by the fact that the defendant was apprehended… at a bus terminal just north of Los Angeles,” Castleton wrote.

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