JBLM deserter, murder suspect, previously convicted of assault


The Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) deserter, who was arrested in connection to the death of a cab driver in January, was previously convicted of sexually assaulting children and sentenced to 64 years of confinement.

Tukwila Police released a statement Friday stating that although Sgt. Jonathan K. Lee is the prime suspect in the murder case, no charges have been filed.

KIRO 7 spoke with the girlfriend of Nicholas Hokema, the Redicab driver who was found dead inside a parking lot at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila on January 15. She says she was troubled to learn of Lee’s past.

“I’m in shock that nobody seemed to put together this guy could be a threat to the community,” Nicole Sharkody said.

KIRO 7 reached out to the U.S. Army Office of Special Trial Counsel for more information about Lee.

Spc. Jonathan K. Lee is currently in military custody at Joint Base Lewis-McChord serving confinement for sexual assault offenses he was found guilty of at a court-martial on Jan. 19, 2024. Army law enforcement is working closely with the Tukwila Police Department regarding the murder of Mr. Hokema as Lee is a suspect in the case. As a matter of policy, the Army has no further comment as the investigation is ongoing.” – Michelle McCaskill, Director of Communications

KIRO 7 also asked McCaskill if there were more details about the sexual assault convictions. McCaskill said she is working with the prosecution team to gather those details.

Sharkody said she believed from the beginning that more could’ve been done to contain  Lee to the base.

“To still have vehicle access. He drove off of JBLM in a vehicle,” Sharkody said.

Sharkody said she hopes change will come from this case so no other person or family goes through this.

“There needs to be a more thorough investigation as to what went wrong, why and who exactly let this happen,” Sharkody said.


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