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.