Edmonds stabbing suspect charged with premeditated murder

Ian Bramel-Allen reportedly threatened Bret Northcutt with an “axe or hatchet,” weeks before stabbing him in a WinCo parking lot.

Ian S. Bramel-Allen (Edmonds Police Department)

Ian S. Bramel-Allen (Edmonds Police Department)

EDMONDS — Bret Northcutt had only been in Washington for about a week when his friend’s ex-boyfriend began threatening him over the phone, claiming he would come over “with an axe or hatchet and kill him,” according to new charging papers.

Roughly two weeks later, Northcutt was stabbed to death in the WinCo parking lot in Edmonds.

Ian Bramel-Allen, 48, was charged Thursday with premeditated first-degree murder and possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with Northcutt’s death.

The new charges give the clearest timeline yet of how long Bramel-Allen had allegedly been targeting Northcutt.

On April 19, Northcutt drove with Bramel-Allen’s former girlfriend Katelan Duckworth to visit her mother at Swedish Edmonds at 21601 76th Ave. W. In the hospital room, Duckworth reportedly told her mother Bramel-Allen was “blowing up” her phone, threatening both her and Northcutt. The defendant was jealous over her and Northcutt’s friendship despite it being platonic, according to the charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

The mother said her daughter then left the room to look for Northcutt, saying something was wrong, according to the charges. Northcutt reportedly left the hospital in the family’s Kia Sorento.

During a later interview with investigators, the mother reportedly said Bramel-Allen and her daughter had dated for 10 years but broke up a few weeks prior. She said the defendant had “planted himself around this area to stay close” to Duckworth, and that she feared for her daughter’s safety, according to charging papers.

Around 8:30 p.m. April 19, Northcutt drove to the WinCo at 12900 Highway 99 and went inside. When Northcutt entered the store, video surveillance showed Bramel-Allen walking to the man’s car and trying to open the passenger door, according to a search warrant filed in Snohomish County. After realizing the door was locked, the suspect hid behind a Redbox kiosk near the store’s exit, court documents say.

Northcutt exited the store with a brown bag about 19 minutes later. Bramel-Allen followed him close behind as he approached the car, according to court documents. Bramel-Allen then ran up to Northcutt and repeatedly stabbed him in the torso in an attack that lasted about 18 seconds, the search warrant said. Northcutt tried to walk away, but collapsed.

Northcutt died at the scene. He was 37.

Bramel-Allen then fled in the Kia Sorento, according to the charges. Nearly six hours later, he was arrested near Volunteer Park in Seattle. As police approached, the suspect stabbed himself in the neck, the charges say. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

In the hospital, the defendant reportedly asked investigators if Northcutt was OK. Police informed Bramel-Allen of the man’s death. The defendant then became emotional. He apologized for Northcutt’s death, telling investigators “that wasn’t the plan for the day,” but that “he just saw red,” the charges say.

Bramel-Allen was transferred from Harborview to Snohomish County Jail after about three weeks in treatment.

Bramel-Allen is represented by defense attorney Natalie Tarantino.

Detectives tried to contact Duckworth for an interview in late April. However, they received a phone call notifying them that she had died in her Mountlake Terrace apartment, according to court documents.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office she died of an accidental overdose from a combination of drugs.

Bramel-Allen entered a formal plea of not guilty Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court. He remained behind bars Tuesday, with bail remained set at $1 million. A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for July.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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