CRIME BLOTTER

$3M bail set for man accused of murdering chef at Seattle light rail

May 14, 2024, 6:24 PM

Photo: The man King County prosecutors said killed a chef at the Capitol Hill Link light rail stati...

The man King County prosecutors said killed Chef Cory Bellett at the Capitol Hill Link light rail station over the weekend had his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

The 26-year-old opted not to attend the hearing. A defense attorney was there instead.

Prosecutors were seeking probable cause for the charges of murder in the second degree with a deadly weapon enhancement and witness tampering.

According to court documents, Bellett brushed against the suspect as he was descending an escalator. Then on the platform, there was an argument, a fight, and then the stabbing. The King County Medical Examiner reports Bellett was stabbed or cut three times with a box cutter, including once in the neck and once in the torso.

Past coverage: Man arrested following deadly light rail stabbing of beloved Seattle chef

Prosecutors said the $3 million bail is necessary.

“That is based on both a danger to the community that the defendant would pose if he were released, as well as the significant risk of flight should he be released,” Sr. King County Dep. Prosecutor Jason Brookhyser said.

But the defense had a different view. They said that the use of force by the suspect may have been warranted.

“A reasonable inference can be made that getting shoved, unprovoked, next to the light rail tracks could give rise to reasonable belief of imminent harm or death,” defense attorney Brooks DePeyster said.

Bellett worked at Harry’s Fine Foods and was a beloved chef in the Seattle restaurant community.

“We’re all connected, somehow,” Shea Bigger, a local bar server told KIRO 7. “We all have mutual friends. So, it does, you know, you feel it.”

Back at the light rail station, passengers are calling for more security.

“More security presence on the trains, on the platforms, where all the heavy traffic is,” light rail passenger George Alvarez told KIRO Newsradio.

A Sound Transit spokesperson told KIRO Newsradio that attacks like this are extremely rare and the trains are very safe.

However, Bellett’s death is the second time this year that someone has been killed at a Link light rail station.

The name of the suspect hasn’t been released because he hasn’t been charged yet. He’s due back in court Thursday afternoon.

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

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