A Maple Valley area man who claimed his friend was killed during a drunken, cocaine-fueled knife-throwing game has been charged with first-degree manslaughter with a deadly weapon.
Vinks McIntire, 40, is accused of burying a combat knife in Demetrius Fletcher’s chest and then lying to King County sheriff’s detectives about Fletcher’s supposed suicidal state of mind, charging papers say. After spending a couple of days recovering from alcohol withdrawal at Harborview Medical Center, McIntire was booked into the King County Jail on Wednesday, where he remains in lieu of $750,000 bail, court and jail records show.
McIntire called 911 just after 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 and sheriff’s deputies and medics found Fletcher, 51, lying on the floor in the laundry room of a house in the 18800 block of Southeast 216th Street in unincorporated King County, where McIntire lives with his wife and in-laws, the charges say. The house is northwest of Maple Valley.
Fletcher died soon after arriving at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center.
According to the charges:
McIntire allegedly told the 911 operator he had awakened from a nap and found Fletcher unresponsive with a knife in his hand, lying across his sternum. He claimed he had already performed CPR and that Fletcher was cold to the touch. McIntire was told to continue CPR until help arrived.
When deputies arrived, a deputy found Fletcher was still warm and began CPR. The deputy later noted that Fletcher didn’t have any blood on his chest when she started CPR, but a large amount of blood gushed from his wound as soon as she began chest compressions, inconsistent with McIntire’s claim that he had already performed CPR, the charges say.
The deputy also thought the knife — which didn’t have any blood on the blade — was too big to have inflicted Fletcher’s injury, which was later confirmed by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Detectives with the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit interviewed McIntire, who claimed Fletcher had mental health issues, was haunted by demons, and had cut himself with a razor blade before McIntire intervened. But aside from an older wound to his hand, Fletcher didn’t have any other injuries besides the stab wound to his chest, say the charges. Detectives searched the house and didn’t find the broken razor McIntire claimed Fletcher had used.
Detectives say McIntire agreed to take a polygraph test the next day but he showed up intoxicated and so the test was postponed until Monday. During the polygraph, McIntire claimed Fletcher had engaged in self-harm and said he wanted to die, say the charges.
“It was the examiner’s opinion that McIntire was attempting deception when he denied having stabbed the victim,” a detective wrote in charging papers.
Polygraph results are not admissible in court but the voluntary tests are sometimes used during criminal investigations.
The charges say McIntire’s mother-in-law told detectives she came home the night before Fletcher was killed and had some drinks with McIntire and Fletcher. McIntire got very drunk, so she and Fletcher put him to bed, then spent the evening talking.
“She said he was in good spirits and nothing seemed amiss,” say the charges, noting the mother-in-law and several of Fletcher’s friends all denied he had any major mental health issues.
The charges say McIntire’s wife told detectives her husband said that he had stabbed Fletcher.
Over the subsequent days, detectives re-interviewed McIntire, who claimed he and Fletcher were drunk and high on cocaine when they began playing with knives, taking turns throwing the knives end-over-end at each other, according to the charges.
“McIntire still did not have an explanation for why the victim had the knife in his hand when he was on the floor dying. He said he saw it last on a chair in the living room and denied planting it in Fletcher’s hand,” the detective wrote in the charges.
The day after Fletcher was killed, a neighbor came over and helped the family clean up Fletcher’s blood, according to the charges. The neighbor later told detectives she found a knife in a plastic grocery bag inside her purse after she got home, apparently placed there by McIntire’s wife, the charges say. The neighbor turned the knife over to detectives, and it appeared to have dried blood on the blade and was consistent with Fletcher’s stab wound, according to the charges.