A 39-year-old man was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend in a Kent parking lot, according to King County prosecutors.

Vitaliy Khrol, who is homeless, was arrested just after 2 a.m. Tuesday behind an auto parts store, which is across 104th Avenue Southeast from the U.S. Bank parking lot where he attacked and killed 30-year-old Richard Hamilton, charging papers say. Khrol, who remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, is to be arraigned April 23, jail and court records show.

Hamilton was stabbed multiple times just after 9 p.m. Monday in front of several witnesses, including his girlfriend, the charges say.

“The defendant attacked the victim in full view of these witnesses, clearly not concerned about his actions. The defendant told detectives that he had previously attempted to assault the victim and threatened to ‘break him’ the next time he saw him,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Castleton wrote of Khrol in charging papers, noting Khrol is a daily meth user. “While the defendant claimed to have no memory of stabbing the victim to death, it appears that after the stabbing, he was able to dispose of the murder weapon and change his clothes before being apprehended by police.”

According to the charges:

A Kent police officer was driving his patrol car eastbound in the 10200 block of Southeast 240th Street when he saw a man emerge from an alley while yelling something like, “Hey, stop that!” before running across the street toward the bank parking lot. The officer made a U-turn and followed the man into the parking lot, where he saw the first man bend over another man on the ground.

The man on the ground, later identified as Hamilton, had a wound to his buttocks and at least two puncture wounds to the left side of his chest. As officers and medics attempted to save him, Hamilton lost consciousness and died at the scene.


Witnesses told police the suspect who attacked Hamilton had run off northbound before officers arrived.

Hamilton and his girlfriend, who are also homeless, were walking through the parking lot when Khrol suddenly attacked Hamilton and drove him to the ground, the charges say. Khrol quickly gained the upper hand and continued to strike Hamilton from above as Hamilton’s girlfriend tried to pull Khrol off him, according to the charges. Several other witnesses provided similar accounts.

Five hours later, a Kent police detective located Khrol behind an auto parts store and arrested him.

Police say Khrol claimed to also be in a relationship with Hamilton’s girlfriend and was with her at a bus stop when Hamilton showed up. When she walked off with Hamilton, police say Khrol told detectives he became so angry that he couldn’t remember anything that happened before he woke up in a wooded area near an apartment complex, according to the charges.

The charges say Khrol is known to regularly carry a knife on his belt but he didn’t have the knife on him when he was arrested. Police say Khrol claimed not to know what happened to the knife due to his blackout, say the charges.