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June 16, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Homeless man held on $1M bail in Renton hammer slaying

A King County District Court judge found probable cause to hold a 48-year-old Renton transient on investigation of homicide for allegedly killing another homeless man with a claw hammer.

Bail for the man — who has not yet been charged — was set at $1 million.

Renton police were called to Renton Beauty School in the 2800 block of Northeast Sunset Boulevard shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday after a passerby spotted a “dead person with blood everywhere,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When detectives arrived, they found the victim lying on his back in the school’s alcove, police said. The victim appeared to have “extensive blunt force trauma to his face and head” and there was pooled blood and blood spattered on the alcove’s walls, according to the probable-cause document laying out the police case against the suspect.

Investigators with the state crime lab said it appears the victim had been lying down when struck, court documents say.

According to police, a “well-known transient” was interviewed who said there was a new transient in the area who was “mean” and who had been threatening other homeless people with a claw hammer. The well-known transient said he saw the suspect pull the hammer from his pants one day when he was drunk and heard him say, “I’m going to kill somebody.”

The helpful transient then told police about some locations where the suspect usually slept, the court document alleges.

At one of those locations, police found an orange-handled claw hammer with blood on it, court documents say.

Detectives then spoke with another transient who directed them to where the suspect was sitting, outside a convenience store with a beer.

Police say the suspect had blood on his shoes, pants, jacket, nose and chin when approached. The tread marks on the bottom of the suspect’s shoes also matched bloody footprints found at the crime scene, police said.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, Renton, transients

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