David Lee Morris, 29, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Gabrielle Garcia. He is accused of repeatedly stabbing her in the neck in front of numerous witnesses, including the couple's autistic son, in the food court at Seattle Center.
King County prosecutors say a man who stabbed his estranged girlfriend to death in front of horrified witnesses at the Seattle Center has been charged with first-degree murder after reportedly telling police it was “easy to kill.”
Charges filed in King County Superior Court allege David Lee Morris told detectives he had been in the military but hadn’t killed any enemy, and that it was ironic that his “first confirmed kill” was the estranged mother of his child, who police and court records say had sought protection against him.
“The defendant chillingly explained that ‘it’s extremely easy to kill people … if you’re willing to die … and feel like you’ve lost everything,’” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wyman Yip wrote in the charges.
Morris, 29, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, accused of stabbing Gabrielle Garcia in the neck in front of numerous witnesses, including the couple’s 5-year-old autistic son, in the food court of the Seattle Center Armory on Friday afternoon.
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The charges also allege the aggravating circumstances that the crime was one of domestic violence and was committed in the presence of a minor child.
Morris is being held without bail because he faces a possible life sentence and has shown a propensity for violence that makes him a danger to the community, the charges say.
Seattle police say Morris, in an hours-long interview with homicide detectives, attempted to justify the attack by blaming the 28-year-old woman for causing him to lose access to his son, debt and other relationship issues.
The charging documents do not provide any details of Morris’s military service, although his last known address is listed as post-office box at Joint Base Lewis McChord. A base spokesman could not immediately be reached for additional information.
According to the charges, Morris and Garcia had an on-off relationship and Morris told detectives he had thought about killing her earlier, in April or May, but instead decided to try to fix their relationship. Garcia obtained an anti-harassment protection order against Morris in October, court records show.
On Friday, Morris, Garcia and their son met at the Pacific Science Center, where Morris attempted to talk to Garcia about their relationship problems, but she avoided the conversation, the charges say.
Around 4 p.m., the family went to MOD Pizza in the Seattle Center food court and Morris again tried to talk to Garcia about their relationship, but she got up to go to the bathroom, where Morris worried she would call her attorney, according to the charges.
When she returned to the table, Morris pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the neck “numerous times,” according to the charges. Numerous other diners witnessed the assault.
Police say Morris acknowledged that witnessing his mother’s death may have traumatized his son, but said he hopes the boy will repress the memories, the charges say.
Several people called 911 and Morris was held at gunpoint by a man until police arrived, the charges say. Officers deployed Tasers, hitting Morris twice, before he was taken into custody.