Kent woman pleads not guilty to stabbing death of husband

A 45-year-old Kent woman pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of her husband in a car's backseat as a relative drove them through Kent.

Janice Marie Burrell entered the plea at King County Superior Court at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. She remains in custody with bail set at $1 million. Burrell is scheduled to return to court June 21 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.

County prosecutors charged Burrell with the May 25 stabbing death with a knife of Arthur D. Smith, 41.

One of the first Kent Police officers to respond to the stabbing at about 6:49 p.m. outside of the Kent MultiCare Clinic, 222 State Ave. N., recognized Burrell and Smith due to numerous contacts with the couple, according to charging papers.

Officers detained Burrell because they found Smith sitting with a stab wound in the back seat of the car with his head back against the seat and because of the amount of blood on Burrell's clothing.

Blood soaked the front of Smith's shirt. He had a small cut in his shirt near the center of his chest. He had a cut on his right hand and about a one-inch stab wound in his chest. Officers pulled Smith out of the vehicle. He died at the scene.

A nephew of Smith had picked up the couple at a Kent 7-Eleven. He told detectives he drove them through town but didn't really know where they wanted to go. He then realized Smith had been stabbed and drove to the nearby clinic.

Burrell told detectives that Smith is "always beating on me and spitting on me." She said they argued in the car and she "snapped" and decided to stab him.

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