Pacman's Hit Man

How a Renton kid got tied up with jail, Vegas, and the NFL.

Ever since Renton resident Arvin Edwards went to Las Vegas for the NBA All-Star Weekend last year and supposedly offered to do a favor for now–Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, the bullets, bodies, and criminal accusations have been flying. This week in Sin City, Edwards pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder and claimed that football bad boy Jones (arrested six times since being drafted in 2005) is lying about the extortion because he's seeking reinstatement by the NFL. The 29-year-old Edwards allegedly extorted hit money from Jones—some of which arrived in Seattle just about the time Edwards needed it to bail himself out of King County Jail on a felony charge of threatening to kill his Renton neighbor. The bizarre saga kicked off around 5 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2007. The 24-year-old Jones and his entourage were booted out of Vegas' Minxx strip club after Jones caused a ruckus by showering strippers with cash from a plastic bag containing at least $81,000. (Several fights broke out; an event promoter ran off with the remaining cash in the bag, and later was forced to return it.) Outside the club, according to Jones (as detailed in a police arrest warrant), Edwards, an occasional visitor to Vegas, where his girlfriend worked as a dancer, approached Jones and told him he'd "take care" of things. Jones responded by saying, "Whatever." Edwards then sprayed the club with bullets, wounding three people and leaving club manager Tom Urbanski paralyzed. A week later, Edwards, using a fake name, allegedly called Jones in Atlanta asking to be paid for his services. An Edwards associate also allegedly called a Jones friend asking for money, saying Jones should pay or his family could be in danger. Eventually, last September, Jones—who was suspended by the NFL for all of last season because of the Vegas incident—told police and the league that he and his friend made a $15,000 extortion payoff to the two men. According to Vegas cops and court records here, Edwards received about $3,800 of the money—$1,800 of it wired to Seattle on May 4 of last year. Edwards, whose record includes a felony drug bust in Bellingham and an arrest for carrying burglary tools in his native New Orleans, was just a few days away from being arrested here for felony harassment, allegedly telling his Renton neighbor: "I guarantee, in two days, you'll be dead." He apparently blamed her for his eviction from a Petrovitsky Road apartment complex, whose property managers he also is said to have threatened. On May 10, Edwards posted bond to make $5,000 bail. That case has dragged on since, with Edwards frequently failing to appear in court. He was re-arrested on a bench warrant and was cooling his heels in the Yakima jail (due to overcrowding in Seattle) when Jones showed up with authorities for a lineup in April this year. There, Jones fingered Edwards as the shooter; police also say they have phone records incriminating Edwards. Nonetheless, Edwards' attorney says Jones, now at the Cowboys' training camp, "fabricated" the tale about his client to grease his reinstatement. Today, Edwards is being held on $2 million bail, and promises that as long and weird as this story already is, there's more to come.

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