Federal Way man convicted of murdering teenage accomplice Puyallup store clerk

A Federal Way man was convicted of the April 2019 murder of store clerk Soon Ja Nam and the murder of his teenage accomplice days later, according to the Pierce County District Attorney’s Office.

Robbrie P. Thompson, 19, was convicted on September 30 by a Pierce County Superior Court jury on eight counts, including one first degree murder and two counts of aggravated first degree murder for the murder of Soon Ja Nam, 79 years old. and Franklin Thuo, 16.

He was also convicted of first degree theft, two counts of second degree assault, illegal possession of a firearm and conspiracy to commit robbery.

His sentence is pronounced at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 19.

On April 27, 2019, Thompson and Thuo, both 16, entered the Handy Corner grocery store in Puyallup with guns and asked for money at the cash register. The two drove the store in Thuo’s Nissan Sentra and wore hats, medical masks and rubber gloves.

A Snapchat video from multiple sources shows Thompson and Thuo smiling and wielding guns, according to the documents. The video was shot at around 4:34 p.m., half an hour before the robbery.

Inside the store, Soon Ja Nam’s husband heard her screaming for him. As he walked from their house adjacent to the store, Nam fell to the ground. Forensic scientists later determined that Nam died at the scene from a single shot to the back.

“Before she passed out, she shouted at her husband from the ground to open the register,” the documents say.

One of the gunmen – later determined to be Thompson – then stole money from the open ledger while pointing the gun at Nam’s husband. The gunmen fled the store and Thompson drove off in the Nissan, returning shortly after to look for Thuo. The documents indicate that Thompson was visibly upset when he got into the car for the first time.

Two days later, on April 29, Thuo’s body was found on the shore of Chinook Landing Marina, along Marine View Drive, northeast of Tacoma. He was killed from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, shot at close range, according to the documents.

A forensic analysis revealed that the bullets recovered from the Thuo and Nam murders were fired with the same pistol, documents show.

The day before April 28, Thompson was visiting his girlfriend in Federal Way when Thuo wanted to surrender for the Handy Corner robbery and murder, documents show. Searches of Thompson’s phone that night included “shooting at Puyallup” and “where is the best place to shoot someone,” the documents say.

After texting several other people, Thompson’s final text is sent around 10:30 p.m. on April 30. His phone is then turned off and back on about two hours later, during which prosecutors believe Thuo was killed.

Thompson and Thuo both attended Decatur High School in Federal Way, the principal confirmed in 2019.

The Handy Corner Store in Puyallup where Soon Ja Nam, 79, was murdered in an armed robbery on April 27. The community of Puyallup came together to support the Nam family during this difficult time. Mirror file photo