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The 65-year-old man who was fatally stabbed inside a Bellevue Burger King on Sunday afternoon appeared to be sleeping when he was attacked, according to court documents.

The alleged assailant, a 38-year-old homeless man, is being held in King County Jail on investigation of first-degree murder. King County prosecutors said the suspect will have a bond hearing Tuesday.

He is not being named by The Seattle Times because he has not yet been charged.

A spokesman for the Bellevue Police Department said investigators do not yet know whether the suspect and the victim knew each other, but court documents indicate the assault appeared to be unprovoked.

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Police and medics were called around 3 p.m. to the Burger King in the 14600 block of Northeast 24th Street, where they found the dying victim outside the restaurant.

Three witnesses told police they had seen the victim and the suspect in separate parts of the restaurant just before the stabbing, according to the document of probable cause, which lays out the state’s case against the suspect.

Witnesses said the victim, who was identified in court papers as Jose Arias, appeared to be sleeping in a booth, court documents say.

The witnesses were sitting down to eat when they noticed the suspect walk out of a restroom, pull a large, fixed-blade knife from his right pocket and walk up behind Arias, police and prosecutors allege.

The suspect “reached over a half-wall that Mr. Arias was leaning against and started stabbing Mr. Arias in the upper torso area,” police allege in the court document.

The suspect then left the restaurant but was found by police a mile and a half away, court documents say. He had fresh wounds on his left hand, and all three witnesses positively identified him as the suspect.

A K-9 unit led police to a nearby office complex, where officers found a large knife matching witness descriptions of the one used in the attack.

According to court documents, the suspect has a criminal history that includes multiple assault convictions.

Christine Clarridge can be reached at or 206-464-8983 or Twitter @seaclarridge.

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