DNA leads police to 2010 stabbing suspect

Vancouver man faces assault charge, possibility of life imprisonment




Human DNA found on a cigarette and a hat led to a witness who connected a Vancouver man to an October 2010 stabbing at a Vancouver Chevron station, according to court records.

Byron K. Chant, 34, appeared Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Aug. 30.

Judge Robert Lewis held Chant on $100,000 bail and appointed Vancouver attorney Bob Yoseph to defend him. The maximum penalty is life in prison and a fine of $70,000.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in court, the 32-year-old victim, Jason L. Stricker, was involved in a fight with another group of people late Oct. 23, 2010, in the parking lot of a Chevron at 12100 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd. A Chevron employee who called 911 broke up the fight.

Stricker had gone to his truck and sat in the passenger seat when an unknown person stabbed him in the right side of his torso through an open window, according to the affidavit. The knife punctured the right side of his chest and caused an internal hemorrhage, according to medical records cited in the document.

Vancouver police investigators found a sweatshirt and hat at the crime scene. A DNA profile from a cigarette butt found in the sweatshirt matched that of a woman named Ashley R. Beckley, according to the affidavit. Beckley said the sweatshirt belonged to her and that the hat belonged to man involved in the initial altercation, Gilberto Martinez, the affidavit says. A DNA profile from the hat matched that of Martinez, the affidavit says.

Beckley told police that she saw Chant grab a knife from his vehicle, head over to Stricker’s car and then return to his vehicle. Later, Beckley said, Chant reportedly told her that he had “started stabbing that fool,” the affidavit said.

Chant was transported to Clark County on Monday from Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, where he was serving 38 months for a second-degree robbery in December 2010.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; paris.achen@columbian.com