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A judge found probable cause Monday to hold a transient in custody in connection with the slaying with a claw hammer of another homeless man in Renton.

Bail for the 48-year-old suspect — who has not yet been charged — was set at $1 million.

Renton police were called to the Renton Beauty School in the 2800 block of Northeast Sunset Boulevard shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday after a passer-by had spotted a “dead person with blood everywhere,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

When detectives arrived they found the 52-year-old victim lying on his back in the school’s alcove, police said.

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The victim, a transient, appeared to have suffered “extensive blunt force trauma to his face and head” and there was pooled blood on the ground and on the alcove’s walls, according to the probable-cause document that lays out the police case against the suspect.

Investigators with the state crime lab said it appeared that the victim had been lying down when struck, court documents say.

Police interviewed a “well-known transient” who said there was a new transient in the area who was “mean” and who had been threatening others with a claw hammer.

The transient said he saw the suspect pull the hammer from his pants one day when he was drunk and heard him say in an angry tone, “I’m going to kill somebody,” according to the affidavit.

The transient told police the suspect usually slept in the alcove where the victim was found or in some nearby hedges, according to the court document.

In the hedges, police found an orange-handled claw hammer with blood on it, the court documents say.

Detectives then spoke with another transient who directed them to a convenience store, where the suspect was drinking a beer, according to the probable-cause document.

Police say the suspect had blood on his shoes, pants, jacket, nose and chin, the document said. The soles on the suspect’s shoes also matched bloody footprints found at the crime scene, police said.

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

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