Ian Bramel-Allen, 43, was formally charged in Snohomish County Superior Court Thursday on one count of first-degree murder and one count of motor vehicle theft in connection with the April 19 fatal stabbing attack in the Edmonds WinCo parking lot near the intersection of Highway 99 and 220th Street Southwest. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bramel-Allen is being held in the Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
Bramel-Allen is accused of fatally stabbing 37-year-old Oregon resident Brett Northcutt at approximately 8:45 p.m. during a parking lot altercation, and subsequently driving off in the white Kia Sorrento that the victim had driven to WinCo.
According to charging documents filed with the court, after the stabbing, the suspect was last seen driving east on 220th Street Southwest in the direction of Interstate 5. Edmonds police quickly obtained and released the vehicle license number and photographic evidence from WinCo surveillance cameras. These led to recovery of the vehicle at 5:45 a.m. the next morning near Seattle’s Volunteer Park, and a subsequent citizen report that Bramel-Allen had been sighted near the park. Officers located him shortly before noon. He at first attempted to flee on foot, but when approached he stabbed himself in the neck multiple times before surrendering.
Bramel-Allen was transported to Harborview Hospital for treatment of his wounds, where he remained under guard until May 8 when he had recovered sufficiently to be transferred and booked into the Snohomish County Jail. The next day, prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in district court documenting their intent to prepare and bring formal charges in Snohomish County Superior Court. The court set a May 26 felony dismissal deadline, giving prosecutors until then to file charges. Charges were filed on May 25.
The 15-page charging document includes a timeline of the crime itself, the arrest and questioning of the suspect, and the connection between the suspect and victim. This connection centered on a woman with whom both men were involved. Police initially planned to locate and question her, but before they could she was found dead in her Mountlake Terrace apartment April 25 from an apparent drug overdose.
Information obtained from relatives indicate that Bramel-Allen had threatened Northcutt, including a threat to kill him with an ax or a hatchet. In interviews with the woman’s mother, detectives learned that she and Bramel-Allen had dated for 10 years, but had recently broken up. The mother also told detectives that Bramel-Allen did not like the couple’s friendship, was “out for him (Northcutt),” and that he “planted himself around the area to stay close” to his former girlfriend.
— By Larry Vogel