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UPDATE: Prosecutor files second-degree murder charge in fatal stabbing at Bellevue Burger King
A 38-year-old transient man was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder for what is alleged to have been the indiscriminate stabbing of an elderly man inside a Bellevue Burger King on Sunday.
Steven O. Padilla is alleged to have approached a 65-year-old man, Jose L. Arias, while he was sleeping inside the Burger King on Northeast 24th Street around 3:15 p.m., and stabbed him multiple times in the upper torso, according to a police report filed with charges in King County Superior Court.
Witnesses say Padilla exited the fast-food restaurant restroom and removed a knife from his jacket pocket, reaching over a partition to stab Arias. Arias staggered out of the restaurant and collapsed in the parking lot, where he was declared dead at the scene. It is believed at least two of the stab wounds contributed to Arias' death.
Padilla fled the scene, but was arrested 1 1/2 miles away. A K-9 unit led police to an office complex on the 14300 block of Northeast 24th Street, where a large, fixed-blade knife believed to have been the murder weapon was recovered.
Bellevue Police Ofc. Seth Tyler confirmed Arias had also been homeless, however, detectives are still working to determine what his relationship might have been to Padilla.
"We're still trying to determine that definitively, if they did in fact know each other," he said.
Police are also awaiting the results of a toxicology report for Padilla, to determine if he was impaired at the time of the alleged murder. Probable cause was found to detain Padilla during a Monday hearing at the King County Jail, at which the suspect refused to appear. Padilla also declined to attend his bond hearing on Tuesday.
The Bellevue Police report a 65-year-old man died outside the Burger King on Northeast 24th Street this afternoon after being stabbed by another man. The suspect was arrested nearby without incident, according to police.
Police state the victim collapsed outside the restaurant shortly after the stabbing was reported at 3:17 p.m. The suspect, 38, left the scene, but was later located and arrested in a nearby parking lot, according to a BPD news release.
Detectives remain on the scene, and the restaurant will be closed for several hours as the investigation continues. Police state they believe there was only one suspect.
"Our detectives are currently investigating the details surrounding this case, including what led up to this incident and the relationship between the suspect and the victim, if any," said Bellevue Police Ofc. Seth Tyler in a statement Sunday.
The suspect will be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. Monday at the King County Jail, at which point more information will be available.