A 42-year-old Spanaway man was arrested in Parkland on suspicion of first-degree murder Thursday, eight days after his release from Western State Hospital, according to court documents.
The man is believed to have killed a 41-year-old transient man found dead alongside the road at 107th Street South and Pacific Avenue South, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
“All too frequently, we end up dealing with people with a history of mental illness who commit serious crimes,” Sheriff Paul Pastor said in a statement. “This is just one example.”
The dead man was found by another transient about 9:40 a.m., Troyer said. The transient said the slain man had been with another man, who then was at a nearby fast-food restaurant.
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Deputies found the Spanaway man inside the restaurant, pants down, wearing a blood-soaked shirt and talking nonsense, Troyer said. After wrestling with a deputy, the man was arrested.
The News Tribune generally does not identify suspects until they have been arraigned.
Investigators have not determined how the victim died or what led up to the slaying.
“We’re not going to know any more until the autopsy tomorrow,” Troyer said Thursday.
The man might have been harassing and confronting people Wednesday night near 107th Street and Pacific Avenue, Troyer said. Anyone who saw someone acting erratic in that area was asked to call the Sheriff’s Department’s nonemergency line at 253-798-7530.
The Spanaway man also faces charges of felony harassment, fourth-degree assault, third-degree theft, second-degree criminal trespassing, indecent exposure, resisting arrest and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant in a June 29 incident.
According to court documents, the man urinated near a woman’s fence, stole her gas can and doused her in gasoline as she held a lit cigarette. After police and deputies arrived, he resisted arrest, lied about his name and threatened to kill one of the arresting deputies, the documents state.
The man was sent to Western State Hospital for a 45-day competency evaluation and found competent to stand trial Sept. 7. He was released on his own recognizance, as long as he stayed in contact with a Tacoma mental health care facility.
The man told a Western State psychologist he was taking an anti-psychotic medication for his bipolar disorder and would continue to do so, the psychologist wrote in a report filed in Superior Court.
“Based on the information referred to in this report, there is no evidence to indicate (the man) presents an imminent risk of danger to self and others,” the psychologist wrote.
The Spanaway man has six previous felony convictions and 44 misdemeanor convictions, according to court documents.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653