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A strange tale of homicide
South Kitsap man arraigned on charges of murder & burglary

April 25, 2018

Chronicle Staff

(PORT ORCHARD, WA.) – The Kitsap County Sheriff’s office says a South Kitsap man was arraigned Tuesday on murder and burglary charges after telling officers a long and fascinating tale about how a man died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Shawn Michael Dean Hamlin, 38, appeared for arraignment at 3:00 pm Tuesday in Kitsap County Superior Court. Hamlin entered a plea of not guilty. The court found probable cause to remand Hamlin into custody with bail remaining at $1 million. Hamlin advised the court that he would retain private counsel. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 18.

Here is the tale of what happened to bring Mr. Hamlin to this point in his life as told by a statement from the sheriff’s office.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s patrol deputies responded to a property in the 12100 block of SE Triviere Trail, in unincorporated South Kitsap, around 9 pm April 21st. The original 911 report was that CPR was on-going for an unresponsive adult male.

Along with arriving emergency medical crews from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue, sheriff’s deputies observed what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head of the man being worked on as well as “evidence of completely burned gunpowder, called stippling, on the man’s face.”

Stippling is usually suggestive of a bullet being fired from a gun at very close range and sometimes “contact” range.

The wounded man was declared deceased and the property was secured pending arrival of sheriff’s detectives and issuance of a search warrant. A warrant was obtained and investigators processed the victim, the residence and property for evidence. The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office took custody of the victim’s body. Sheriff’s detectives continued with the investigation throughout the weekend.

The deceased man was identified by the coroner’s office as David Ray Pettit (also known as David Ray Garcia), age 48. His next of kin were informed.

During the early afternoon hours of April 24, sheriff’s detectives were contacted by a 38-year-old South Kitsap resident identified as Shawn Michael Dean Hamlin. “Because of media exposure concerning this investigation, Hamlin wanted to provide information about what he knew concerning the victim and the victim’s property,” said the sheriff’s office statement. “During the interview process with sheriff’s detectives, Hamlin provided details that caused investigators to inform Hamlin of his rights under Miranda vs. Arizona. Hamlin acknowledged his rights and agreed to continue the interview and answer questions.”

Sheriff’s investigators say this is the story Hamlin told them about how Mr. Petit died.

According to Hamlin he and Pettit were acquaintances and had known each other for approximately one year. During the afternoon of April 20th Hamlin visited Pettit and spent time at the property. “Hamlin had brought Airsoft guns with him.”

Airsoft guns are toy replica weapons used in airsoft sports. They are a special type of low-power air guns, similar to BB guns but designed to shoot non-metallic, usually plastic round pellets at low velocities, making the guns generally safe for competitive sporting and recreational purposes if protective gear is worn

Later during the visit Pettit became angry over various issues, said Hamlin and demanded that Hamlin go away. An argument ensued. Hamlin agreed to leave but wanted to gather his Airsoft equipment first. Pettit approached Hamlin and the two become involved in a physical confrontation.

During this incident Hamlin said he was armed with an actual handgun. At some point in this altercation he said the firearm discharged. Hamlin believed that Pettit was stunned, not shot. So Hamlin packed-up his gear, and his alcohol, and departed. He told police he returned later in the day to check on Pettit but got no response to the door. Hamlin stated that he didn’t call 9-1-1 as he didn’t believe that Pettit was shot or injured.

Sheriff’s detectives developed probable cause to arrest Hamlin. He was booked into the Kitsap County Jail on charges of murder, 2nd degree and burglary, 1st degree with bail set initially at $1 million.

Following an autopsy conducted by the county’s forensic pathologist, the Kitsap County Coroner issued findings in the case of David Ray Pettit that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death is listed as homicide.


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