|There may have been some "trash talk" between a car full of black soldiers and three white soldiers on foot, but race was not the main issue in the weekend stabbing death of a soldier near a large Army base in Washington, police and prosecutors said.
A key piece of evidence was found Monday when searchers located the knife in a wooded area of Tillicum, about 3 miles from Lakewood where the soldier was killed. Both communities are near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Three soldiers arrested for investigation of murder where scheduled to make their first court appearance Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court.
Spc. Tevin Geike, 20, of Summerville, S.C., was walking with two other soldiers early Saturday when words were exchanged with someone in a car. The car stopped and five people confronted the three, police said.
The groups were separating after realizing they were all active duty soldiers when Geike was fatally stabbed.
Police had said a racial motive was under investigation _ and potentially a hate crime. However, both prosecutor Mark Lindquist and Lakewood Police Lt. Chris Lawler said there was no indication that there was racial hatred or that the men were seeking out people of a certain race to attack.