Seattle Man Already Accused of Assaulting Two Strangers Charged in Homicide


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 with a length of rebar on Capitol Hill, according to King County prosecutors.

Alexander Jay, also known as Jay Alexander, 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.

Both women were strangers to Jay, who has been charged with first- and second-degree assault in the March 2 incidents, which happened about 30 minutes apart.

A passerby called 911 early March 3, roughly 12 hours after the bus stop stabbing, to report finding a man unresponsive and bleeding from the head in the parking lot of a Capitol Hill dry cleaner in the 1800 block of East Olive Way, according to the murder charge filed Tuesday. Seattle police found 31-year-old Brent Wood dead from significant blunt-force injuries to the back of his head, and an autopsy later determined he had been struck at least five times and suffered fatal skull fractures, charging papers say.

Police found a bloody length 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's DNA, as well as a second male whose DNA is in a database maintained by the FBI, according to the charges.

A preliminary match identified Jay as a possible DNA contributor, and the crime lab confirmed the match after police obtained a sample of Jay's DNA, the charges say.

Jay was also identified in surveillance footage from businesses near the site where Wood was found, and police determined Jay appeared to be wearing most of the same clothing he wore during the earlier assaults, according to the charges.

Crime lab scientists determined last week that Wood's blood was found on Jay's boots, which investigators seized after he was arrested March 3 in Pioneer Square, according to the charges.

Jay, who has extensive criminal history in Washington and California, 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, say the records, which note 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 that 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.

State lawmakers have since dedicated millions of dollars to increase staffing and bed capacity, according to court records.

Still, 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.