Man jailed on $1 million bail in fatal stabbing in Tacoma

A stabbing that left a Tacoma man dead Monday stemmed from a stolen portable speaker, authorities said Thursday.

Marcus Thornton, 38, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in the death of John Scott Ware Jr., 35. Thornton was ordered jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.

The attack happened Monday afternoon in the 1200 block of South State Street. A resident called 911 after Ware staggered to the person’s home seeking help, knocked on the front door and collapsed on the porch.

Several neighbors reported hearing a fight before the stabbing and seeing a man standing over Ware as he lay on the ground. A man and woman were reportedly standing nearby watching the assault.

Charging papers give this account:

Thornton was upset about a portable speaker stolen about two weeks ago and, armed with a knife, confronted Ware about it days before he was killed.

Ware was walking down the street Monday when Thornton, on a bicycle, began following him. Surveillance footage from a home in the neighborhood showed Thornton following Ware and the unidentified man and woman walking behind Thornton.

An argument ensued and Thornton allegedly hit Ware and threw him to the ground.

Witnesses reported Thornton “was over the victim and yelled at him to ‘beg for your life’ as he stabbed him,” records state.

Ware’s hat was found in the front yard next to a baseball bat. It was unclear whether the bat was used in the assault.

An anonymous tip led police to Thornton on Wednesday and he was arrested while walking near 96th Street South and Sheridan Avenue South.