Thursday, October 6, 2022
Oct. 6, 2022

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Man charged with assaulting 2 woman now charged with murder


SEATTLE (AP) — A 40-year-old Seattle man jailed since March on allegations he randomly assaulted two women was charged Tuesday with premeditated first-degree murder, accused of bludgeoning a third stranger to death on Capitol Hill, King County prosecutors said.

Alexander Jay was arrested the day after throwing a woman down the stairs at the International District/Chinatown light-rail station and stabbing a woman at least 10 times at a bus stop in Seattle’s Little Saigon International District, court records say.

Jay was charged with first- and second-degree assault, the Seattle Times reported.

Roughly 12 hours after the bus stop stabbing, someone called 911 to report finding a man bleeding from the head in the parking lot of a Capitol Hill dry cleaner, according to the murder charge filed Tuesday.

Seattle police found Brent Wood dead from blunt-force injuries. An autopsy later determined he had been struck at least five times and suffered fatal skull fractures, charging papers say.

Police found a bloody piece of rebar in a recycling bin near Wood’s body and sent it to the State Patrol Crime Lab for DNA testing, the charges say. In June, the test results showed a match to Wood and a second male. The lab later confirmed a match to Jay’s DNA.

Jay was also identified in surveillance footage from businesses near the site. Crime lab scientists determined that Wood’s blood was on Jay’s boots, according to the charges.

Jay remains jailed in lieu of $650,000 bail on the two assault charges and $5 million bail on the murder charge, jail records show.

In April, Jay was diagnosed with unspecified schizophrenia spectrum disorder and found not competent to stand trial on the assault charges, court records show. King County Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender ordered him to undergo competency restoration treatment at Western State Hospital. Jay has previously had his competency restored after being forcibly medicated at the hospital.

Defense attorney Leslie Somerstein has sought to have the assault charges against Jay dismissed, arguing his due process rights continue to be violated because he has still not undergone competency restoration treatment, according to court records.

Though Bender denied Somerstein’s motions to dismiss the charges, the judge imposed a $250-a-day sanction against the state Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees Western State Hospital, in June “for willful failure to comply with the court’s order for inpatient felony competency restoration treatment,” the records say.

The Department of Social and Health Services in late 2018 entered into a contempt settlement agreement in federal court due to delays for people requiring forensic competency services at Western State.

Court records in Jay’s assault cases show the department estimates Jay won’t be admitted to Western State for competency restoration treatment until early October.

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