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Fourth arrest made in 2007 stabbing death of ex-convict in Tampa

TAMPA — Police charged a Tampa woman Thursday with first-degree murder in the 2007 stabbing death of an Orlando ex-convict, according to arrest records.

Hailee Nichole Ra, 27, of 14011 N Nebraska Ave., is the fourth person to be charged in the murder.

Kenny Love Washington, 43, had recently been released from prison when his classmate Harold Jones, owner of the Morning Glory Funeral Chapel in Tampa, gave him a place to stay and a job.

According to the arrest reports:

On Oct. 11, 2007, Ra drove Lamar Coffey, 24, and Devon Lavelle Batiste, 26, to a vacant storefront at 3004 N 22nd St. where Washington and Coffey were roommates.

Then the two men went inside with the intention of robbing Washington, but police said they ended up stabbing him to death.

They wandered into a church the next morning with unexplained cuts and conflicting stories, and police found Washington's body on the first floor of the building at 6 a.m. Oct. 12.

Batiste was arrested and charged two weeks later, and Coffey was tracked down in Charleston, S.C., in December 2007.

Police first considered Ra a witness, believing she had only dropped off Coffey and Batiste at Jones' vacant storefront.

But Batiste later told authorities Ra, who was an employee of Cutco at the time, supplied the men with her sample set of knives to rob Washington.

Another suspect, 20-year-old Rahim Alirabah Ra, also was arrested on grand theft and other charges one week after Washington's death and was charged with first-degree murder and robbery in connection to the case.

Washington was supposed to start a new job the day he was found dead, according to friends.

Coffey has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder.

Ra is also charged with armed robbery and first-degree murder. She was being held without bail at the Orient Road jail Thursday.

Fourth arrest made in 2007 stabbing death of ex-convict in Tampa 08/20/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 20, 2009 11:40pm]
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