Man charged in homicide a suspect in earlier attacks
Derek Donnelly, 32, reportedly bragged about being a "stick-up kid" and has a reputation for robbing people at knifepoint for drugs, according to court documents. Donnelly is accused of repeatedly stabbing people during the robberies.
Court papers say Donnelly was a suspect in a Seattle stabbing on Dec. 4, 2011. In that incident, two women, ages 60 and 54, were knifed during a home invasion robbery. Both women had cuts to their faces. One woman suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs and the other was stabbed in the back.
Police said an accomplice told them Donnelly was responsible for the attack. Seattle detectives interviewed Donnelly about the incident about a month later while he was locked up at the Snohomish County Jail on an unrelated incident. Seattle police say he never denied being involved but he questioned the strength of the cops' evidence against him.
Detectives searched the suspects' vehicle, collecting fingerprints and samples of what appeared to be blood. On May 24, 2012, the Washington State Patrol crime lab reported that they'd found blood from one of the victims inside the vehicle where Donnelly reportedly sat.
By then, Donnelly also was a suspect in the April 23, 2012 fatal stabbing of Luis Verduzco in Everett.
The 23-year-old's body was found near a garage on W. Madison Street, off Broadway. He was stabbed multiple times.
Snohomish County prosecutors allege that Donnelly and two other people arranged a meeting with Verduzco, telling him they wanted to buy methamphetamine. The trio allegedly planned to rob Verduzco.
The group reportedly drove around Everett for about an hour, smoking meth. Prosecutors allege that Donnelly grabbed Verduzco from the backseat. Verduzco struggled to break free and attempted to jump from the moving vehicle.
Donnelly allegedly stabbed the man in the chest and pushed him from the Dodge Durango. A witness later reported seeing a young man running down W. Madison Street with his face covered in blood. The bloodied man stripped off his shirt and threw it on the ground before running out of sight. Verduzco's body was discovered the next day.
A witness told investigators Donnelly and two others drove toward Edmonds, but the Durango broke down and they left the vehicle on I-5. Before ditching the Dodge, Donnelly reportedly tried to clean up some of the blood with Mountain Dew. Donnelly also reportedly told someone that he wrapped his knife in some tape and threw it into a garbage can near a restaurant in south Everett, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Matthew Baldock wrote in charging papers.
Donnelly is charged with first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled for Nov. 1.
King County prosecutors earlier this month charged Donnelly with two counts of first-degree robbery in connection with the Seattle stabbing. Donnelly has nine prior felony convictions, dating back to 2000.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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