Charges filed in Moses Lake armed robbery

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MOSES LAKE — An armed robbery at a gas station in Moses Lake last week appears to not be a random incident, as the victim is married to the suspect.

Grant County prosecutors charged Sean McFarlen, 44, of Moses Lake, in Grant County Superior Court with first-degree robbery-domestic violence, first-degree kidnapping-domestic violence and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

On Feb. 21 Moses Lake police officers responded to a 911 hang-up call at the Valley Quick Stop gas station, located at 518 W. Valley Rd. The business owner told police her husband, McFarlen, came into the store as she was closing, demanded money and got physical with her, according to court documents.

The victim claimed she and McFarlen have an “unstable” relationship and he attempted to lock her in a back room at the gas station. McFarlen reportedly couldn't lock the woman in the room however and he proceeded to smash her cellphone and take the business’ phone away from her. McFarlen allegedly demanded money and the victim gave him the money she had on her. McFarlen proceeded to steal multiple cartons of cigarettes and fled the business in a BMW. Officers reportedly located a live 40-caliber bullet on the floor of the business.

Police were able to track McFarlen to a residence in Grandview, where a Grandview officer reportedly spotted money, shell casings, a pistol holder, a wallet and a cell phone inside of the BMW. McFarlen was located inside of the residence and taken into custody.

Police searched the BMW and reportedly seized a 40-caliber pistol, as well as live ammunition and shell casings. The woman McFarlen was with in Grandview claimed McFarlen told her he was at the Valley Quick Stop earlier in the evening and he took cigarettes and money. McFarlen allegedly told the woman “something to the effect of he threw a round through a door at the business.”

MLPD officers later went back to the gas station to investigate whether or not McFarlen fired shots inside of the business. They allegedly located three spots inside of the business that had been recently shot, as well as debris in and around the areas that were hit and a compressed bullet on the ground.

“(The victim) said she initially did not disclose Sean firing a pistol in the store during the incident because she loved him and did not want to be the reason he went back to prison. (The victim) told me Sean fired three rounds from a black Glock pistol inside the business while he was demanding money from her,” wrote an MLPD officer.

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