Homeless man accused of murdering pedestrian with rebar misses court date
Alexander Jay, a homeless man accused of a random stabbing, assault, and murder within a 24-hour period, failed to show up for his court appearance Tuesday.
His attorney asked for a competency hearing after he was deemed incompetent to stand trial on assault charges in April.
“This doesn’t mean that the murder case is going to go anywhere. It just means that there is a longer process here with the court procedures,” said Casey McNerthney, Communications Director with the King County Prosecutor’s Office. “This is somebody who should not be back out on the streets. Those felony cases for assault and for murder are going forward.”
Jay, 40, is facing a first-degree murder charge, a first-degree assault charge, and a second-degree assault charge after police found a piece of rebar where a witness found a body in a parking lot along East Olive Way in March. The murder weapon was sent to a crime lab for DNA testing, which soon linked Brent Morgan Wood’s death to Jay. An autopsy revealed Wood died from multiple blunt force injuries to the head.
He was also seen on surveillance video attacking a 62-year-old female nurse and throwing her down the stairs at Union Station. She suffered from multiple bone fractures.
Less than 10 minutes later, prosecutors accused Jay of repeatedly stabbing another woman 10 times while waiting at a bus stop, putting her in the hospital.
“People can be reassured that we’re going to keep taking the same position that this is somebody who needs to be held accountable, thoughtfully, but should not be back out on the streets, particularly after this level of violence,” McNerthney said.
A judge ruled the state must pay Jay $250 a day until he gets mental health treatment.
“That’s separate from prosecutors, that’s the state because there’s not a space for him within the Department of Social and Health Services,” McNerthney said. We think it’s still appropriate to argue that, even though there’s not a space for him at Western State or another facility for that committee restoration, that he still needs to be somebody who is who remains in custody.”
Many have criticized the judge’s decision to have Jay receive financial support while he remains in jail, including Jason Rantz, host of The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.
“Under Governor Jay Inslee’s leadership, the state has put too few resources into treating people like Jay,” Rantz said. “The State Department of Social and Health Services does not have a bed for him at Western State Hospital, keeping him in jail instead of treatment.”
The Department of Social and Health Services has estimated he can accumulate approximately $36,750 while waiting for an Oct. 2 admission to Western State Hospital.
Jay’s bail currently stands at $5.25 million with another court date being arranged in the fall.