Suspect in Seattle stabbing death was already in jail

SEATTLE — The 50-year-old man arrested for investigation in the New Year’s Eve stabbing of a Sierra Club organizer was already in the King County Jail when Seattle Police tracked him down, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer said Saturday.

DNA collected at the crime scene matched that of James Anthony Williams, who has a long police record and was taken back into custody for a probation violation on Jan. 18, Kimerer said. During interviews with police, Williams confessed to killing Shannon Harps, 31, court papers said.

Williams lived about 10 blocks from Harps, who was stabbed near the door of her Capitol Hill apartment, but detectives believe Williams and Harps did not know each other.

“I’m pretty certain, and our detectives can confirm this, that this was a stranger-to-stranger homicide. There were no previous connection nor relationship nor any kind of previous contact to our knowledge,” Kimerer said.

Williams waived his right to appear in court on Saturday, when the judge found probable cause to hold him, said Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County prosecutor. He is being held without bail. Tuesday is the deadline for filing charges against him.

In 1995, Williams shot a man at a Seattle bus stop, for which he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. In 1990, he was convicted for assault and battery. His police record includes a forgery conviction, a drug charge and burglary and theft charges.

He was arrested at least three times in 2007 for probation violations, including not checking in with a mental health provider.

Investigators interviewed Williams the night of the killing and he provided a DNA sample.

Harps moved to Seattle about three years ago from Columbus, Ohio.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers speaks to the crowd during an opening ceremony at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County executive pitches $1.66B budget

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced his proposed budget Tuesday afternoon. Public comment is slated to begin Oct. 10.

Schools still without water after service restored to Tulalip homes

The affected area included Quil Ceda Elementary, as well as Heritage and Legacy high schools.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Most Read