Jamel Alexander (left) in court in October. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)

Jamel Alexander (left) in court in October. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)

Everett killing suspect’s escape was caught on many cameras

Detectives retraced Jamel Alexander’s route minute-by-minute from the woods where Shawna Brune was killed.

EVERETT — Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives used security cameras to trace a suspect’s route, minute-by-minute, as he walked away from a murder scene in a neighborhood south of Everett.

Cameras showed Shawna Brune was alive at 8:56 p.m. Oct. 11, buying milk and cereal from a Valero at 11801 Highway 99, according to search warrants.

At 9:03 p.m., Brune could be seen going into the woods near an apartment complex down the street with a man in a maroon Puma jacket and knit cap. In the search warrants, detectives describe a violent struggle in the woods behind a van.

Thirty-one minutes after entering the woods, the man reemerged, without his cap.

The next morning, a man walking his dog found Brune dead in the woods, with her clothes torn off. She’d been beaten and stomped so severely that deputies considered the attack to be “overkill.” Shoeprints marked her body in a crosshatch pattern.

Security footage showed the suspect walking north along Highway 99, with different cameras capturing him at 9:36 p.m., 9:38 p.m., 9:39 p.m., 9:40 p.m. and 9:47 p.m. Oct. 11, when he caught a northbound bus, stopped to grab beer at a mini mart at 9:50 p.m. in the 9600 block of the highway.

At the mini mart, a camera captured him glancing down at his pair of Vans Old Skool sneakers. The side of a sole had bright red staining. He then went out of a camera’s view and left the store walking north at 9:55 p.m.

At the crime scene, among scattered clothes and flecks of blood, police found a knit Oakland Raiders cap.

A swab from the cap tested as a DNA match for Jamel Alexander, 29, who also went by Jamal Alexander, and who has a criminal record out of California for robbery, assault with a weapon, assault on a school employee, carjacking and obstructing law enforcement, according to court documents.

Alexander and his girlfriend lived at an apartment in Everett, about 2½ miles north of the homicide scene.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested him in the parking lot outside his home Oct. 17. He reportedly told police he’d had intimate contact with Brune that night on Highway 99, but when they parted ways she was alive and well.

He acknowledged he’d left his Raiders hat near where Brune’s body was found and that it was him on camera in the store. The stains, he reported, came from a red energy drink. Detectives noted he had not been seen with an energy drink at any point while walking or busing home.

As he was being booked into jail, he stabbed himself in the neck with a pen.

He appeared in court wearing gauze on his neck. He’s being held in the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder, with bail set at $2 million.

On the security videos, the suspect carried a cell phone with him. Detectives applied for search warrants to seize Alexander’s cell records, in an effort to pinpoint where he’d been and what he’d done that night.

Alexander had told police they could find the size 10½ shoes and Puma jacket in his closet.

Deputies found the suspect and his girlfriend had several pairs of matching shoes, in men’s and women’s sizes. At the time of the search, Alexander’s girlfriend wore a pair of Vans Old Skools, with a crosshatch pattern on the sole. But there was no matching men’s pair and no Puma jacket.

Police seized the woman’s shoes and other clothing to be tested, sheriff’s spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe said.

Alexander’s girlfriend reported he had been with her all night at home. Confronted with the video of her boyfriend in the store, she gave no response, according to the warrants. Once she was told what he’d been arrested for, she declined to answer any other questions.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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