Lynnwood man charged in stabbing death

EVERETT — Prosecutors on Friday charged a Lynnwood man with first-degree murder for the Oct. 24 stabbing death of a neighbor.

Jesus “Jesse” Cardenas Lopez, 34, suffered multiple wounds to his neck and chest. His lungs and liver were punctured and he died from “many traumatic injuries,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Cindy Larsen wrote in charging papers.

Encarnacion “EJ” Salas IV lived in the same Lynnwood apartment complex as Cardenas Lopez, who lived with his mother. She told detectives that the two men were friends.

The defendant, 23, was visiting Cardenas Lopez when there was some sort of struggle. It’s unclear from the court documents what sparked the violence. The slain man’s mother told police she heard a thud and saw Salas on the balcony with her son. Salas wouldn’t let Cardenas Lopez inside so she pulled him inside. He fell onto the kitchen floor and Salas reportedly headed toward the front door.

The woman said that her son was bloody. She asked Salas if he was going to help her.

She explained to detectives that Salas grabbed something from his bag, got on top of her son and appeared to be attacking him.

Her son reportedly said, “Mom help me. I’m dying.”

The woman grabbed Salas by the ears and nose, trying to pull him off her son. He kicked at her.

She eventually broke up the attack and pushed Salas outside on the balcony. She locked the door and ran for help.

Police found Cardenas Lopez on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. He died at the scene.

Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies found Salas the next day, hiding in a closest in the apartment he shared with his aunts and brother, court papers said.

He reportedly didn’t cooperate with deputies. They shocked him twice with Tasers before they were able to take him into custody.

He had a large cut to his arm and was taken to a hospital. He reportedly told the emergency room doctor that he killed someone. He declined to talk to police.

Detectives obtained a warrant and searched the defendant’s apartment. They found what appeared to be a bloodied knife and blood-stained clothes. They also found a large gym bag that hadn’t been there the day before when they searched for Salas. The bag contained medical supplies, four jars of peanut butter, honey, clothes, matches, gun oil, a water filter and toiletries, Larsen wrote.

Salas was being held on $1 million bail.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; Twitter: @dianahefley

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