Update: Suspect confesses to killing Port Orchard man during botched pot deal

19-year-old dealer shot during scuffle at South Kitsap parking lot

PORT ORCHARD — Kannon Anthony Stephens told Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office detectives that he shot 19-year-old Tyrone Robert Sero of Port Orchard in the back of the head during a marijuana drug deal gone bad in South Kitsap early in the morning on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Surveillance cameras on the Kitsap Community Resources building at 3200 SE Rainshadow Court captured the meeting between Sero and Stephens in a vehicle at an AM/PM convenience store’s parking lot. Sero brought a backpack allegedly containing the marijuana to the 4Runner vehicle, entered its front seat area and closed the door. Shortly after, the video showed Sero struggling with someone, who appeared to pull him into the backseat area. The vehicle then sped away.

A friend of Sero’s who accompanied him to the parking lot told detectives he heard what sounded like a firecracker exploding as the 4Runner took off from the lot.

In his statement to detectives, Stephens — who said he was hiding in the cargo area of the vehicle — claimed he heard a commotion and the sound of a gun shot. Believing the Port Orchard man had shot his friend Karlen Talent who was sitting in the front seat, Stephens fired his handgun at the back of Sero’s head, instantly killing him.

Stephens’s statement to detectives was included in a certificate of probable cause filed in Kitsap County Superior Court on Oct. 22. The Gig Harbor man was charged with premeditated murder last Friday afternoon and is being held in Kitsap County Jail on $1 million bail. Court documents allege that Karlen Merle Talent of Port Orchard was an accomplice in Sero’s murder. He also is being held in jail on a first-degree murder charge with bail set at $1 million.

Body taken to Mason County

After the shooting, sheriff’s office detectives alleged that the men drove off in the vehicle to Mason County, where they disposed of Sero’s body at an undeveloped piece of property near Matlock. Stephens told detectives a third suspect was also in the 4Runner and had helped out the pair.

Meanwhile, friends searching for Sero traveled to Stephens’s family’s residence in Gig Harbor that evening, where they believed their friend was being held against his will. A confrontation occurred between Stephens and his family, and Sero’s family and friends, according to the statement of probable cause. The confrontation ended with several shots allegedly being fired by both parties. One of Sero’s friends was shot twice during the exchange and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to a Pierce County Sheriff’s Office report.

On the evening of Oct. 21, Stephens and his attorney arrived at the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office in Port Orchard and asked to speak with investigators. After being advised of his rights, Stephens confessed to shooting and killing Sero during the botched marijuana deal.

Investigators said in the statement that a third suspect involved in the murder has not yet been located.

After Tyrone Robert Sero, pictured here, went missing early Wednesday in South Kitsap, a Gig Harbor man turned himself in to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office detectives on Thursday and confessed to Sero’s killing. (FOX 13 News)

After Tyrone Robert Sero, pictured here, went missing early Wednesday in South Kitsap, a Gig Harbor man turned himself in to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office detectives on Thursday and confessed to Sero’s killing. (FOX 13 News)

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