A 57-year-old Kent man faces a potential second-degree murder charge for allegedly stabbing to death a 23-year-old Kent man after a dispute Monday, Sept. 14 in a parking lot at the Mosaic Hills Apartment complex in the 10900 block of Southeast 238th Street on the East Hill.
Kent Police arrested the man Monday evening at a nearby home after receiving tips from witnesses. A King County Superior Court judge on Tuesday agreed with prosecutors to hold the man on a $1 million bail and found cause for second-degree murder, according to a King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson. Prosecutors expect to file charges against the man this week. The Kent Reporter typically doesn’t name a suspect until they have been formally charged.
Officers responded at 4:37 a.m. to 911 calls about a man laying in the parking lot motionless following the sounds of an argument, according to Kent Police. Officers found a man in the parking lot with multiple lacerations, and he was unresponsive. Two officers began live-saving efforts, including applying a chest seal and performing chest compressions. Those efforts continued until paramedics arrived to take over, but the man did not survive.
As of Wednesday morning, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office had not yet released the name of the victim. An on-scene report from the medical examiner noted that the man had at least three stab wounds, two to his left back and one to his mid chest, according to probable cause documents.
A witness reported to police that two men were arguing about money and began to physically fight when the one man stabbed the other man.
When police interviewed the suspect, he told them the other man began the fight by throwing a soda bottle at him and that the man came at him even after he had pulled out a knife. He admitted to stabbing the man but claimed he did so in self-defense when the other man was on top of him, according to probable cause documents.
At least three witnesses, however, told detectives the man with the knife was on top of the victim and the victim was laying on the ground when he stabbed him a final time.
Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla updated the City Council about the case during his Sept. 15 Public Safety Report during the remote council meeting.
“It doesn’t always happen this way, but later that same day we identified a suspect and located where was, and with Valley SWAT we took him into custody without incident,” Padilla said. “It’s a testament to the community and one of those incidents where community members were willing to come forward and provide information to help detectives solve the case. …It was a tragic loss of life and my condolences to the family, it was a needless loss of life.”