Man pleads guilty to assault in Christmas Eve stabbing at mall

“Good Samaritan” who tried to break up fight ended up hospitalized with a knife wound to his back.

EVERETT — A south Snohomish County man is headed to prison for a Christmas Eve stabbing at Alderwood mall in 2016.

Jodie Trevon Taylor, 21, knifed a bystander who tried to break up a fight involving the defendant and another young man. The pair were beefing on Facebook over a drug debt and fists flew when they spotted each other in the mall.

The victim told the combatants to stop because there were kids around and, “It’s Christmas.” He wound up hospitalized with a knife wound to his back.

Taylor recently pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. His Snohomish County Superior Court sentencing is scheduled for May 8.

The presumptive sentence under state guidelines is two years in prison. Deputy prosecutor Katie Wetmore has filed paperwork making clear she will ask the judge to impose more than seven years. The primary reason: Taylor stabbed a man who was “acting as a good Samaritan at the time of the offense,” she wrote.

The violence sent a pulse of fear through the mall that Dec. 24 afternoon. The first callers to 911 reported there had been a shooting. Police raced to the scene as mall shoppers spilled into the parking lot.

Taylor already was in the custody of mall security after having been tackled and detained by witnesses to the attack. He had a large, folding knife in a pants pocket.

Detectives later determined the fight occurred because of a $50 disagreement over who owed whom after some cocaine deals two years prior, court papers say.

Taylor originally was charged with first-degree assault. The case moved slowly through the legal system in part because of questions about the defendant’s mental capacity to assist in his defense.

A judge in October ruled Taylor fit for trial. That came after a state forensic psychologist examined the defendant and concluded, among other things, that he appeared to be exaggerating behaviors that raised questions about his competence.

Taylor has prior convictions for misdemeanor assault and juvenile felonies for possession of methamphetamine and a firearm. He told the state psychologist that he’s made such heavy use of drugs over the years that he is uncertain whether he’s ever had a seizure.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; Twitter: @snorthnews.

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