The man accused of stabbing a 59-year-old man to death on Aurora Avenue North Sunday had attempted to rob the same victim an hour and a half before the fatal encounter, according to documents filed in King County Superior Court on Thursday.

Thomas Oscar Cady, 46, of Shoreline — who remains at large — is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Charles Johnson Jr., who was stabbed while lying on the ground in front of the K-Smoke Mart at 11726 Aurora Ave. N. around 6 p.m.

It was the second violent encounter between the two men that day, according to charging papers.

An hour and half earlier, police had been called to North 130th Street and Aurora Avenue North after witnesses reported seeing one man threatening another with a gun. The suspect had left by the time police arrived, and Johnson initially denied being involved.

Eventually he told police that while he didn’t know the full name of the man who tried to rob him, they both had lived at the Emerald Motel on Aurora Avenue North. Johnson told police Cady was kicked out of the motel at the end of April after Johnson told managers Cady had stolen his bicycle.

Investigating officers went to the motel, where they were able to put together identifying information on Cady.


When offices later responded to the fatal stabbing,  they recognized the victim and realized the witness description of the suspect matched that of Cady, court documents say.

Surveillance video of the stabbing taken from nearby businesses showed the suspect approaching the victim outside the smoke shop and two men appearing to argue, with Johnson at one point turning out his pockets to show they were empty, prosecutors said in the court document.

“The suspect is seen pulling a knife from his pocket and suddenly lunging at the victim who fell backwards,” prosecutors wrote in the charging document. “The suspect stood over him as he was on his back on the ground and stabbed the victim twice, one of the wounds proved fatal.”

Cady has a criminal history that includes convictions for first-degree robbery, assault and unlawful possession of a firearm as well as pending charges in Snohomish and King counties, prosecutors say.

Last month, he was charged with second-degree burglary in King County Superior Court and released on his personal recognizance over the objections of prosecutors, court documents say.