King County prosecutors charged a North Seattle man Tuesday with second-degree murder, accusing him of fatally stabbing his friend last week because he was apparently jealous of the attention his girlfriend was paying the friend.
Sherwilliam Villar, 38, was arrested at his residence around 9 a.m. Friday, roughly eight hours after he is accused of stabbing his friend, 27-year-old Madison Johnson, who died from his injuries after he was transported to Harborview Medical Center.
Villar, who remains jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail, is to be arraigned Oct. 5, according to King County prosecutors. Court records do not indicate whether he has an attorney.
Although Villar does not have any criminal convictions in Washington, charging papers say he moved here two years ago from California, where he has prior convictions for spousal battery, solicitation of narcotics and providing false ID to a police officer.
“In this case, the defendant became angry and jealous when he perceived that his girlfriend was paying too much attention to the victim, who was their mutual friend. The defendant sent several angry and verbally abusive texts to his girlfriend in the hours leading up to the murder,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Petersen wrote in the charges, noting the stabbing was “incredibly violent and seemingly unprovoked.”
According to the charges:
Police responded to a report of an assault near Kerry Park, located in the 200 block of West Highland Drive in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, just before 1 a.m. Friday. Officers found Johnson lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds.
Villar’s girlfriend identified Villar as the assailant to Seattle police. In a later interview with homicide detectives, the woman said she had dinner earlier in the evening with Villar and Johnson and the three drove together to the park, which overlooks the city. She said Villar threw a “tantrum,” so she and Johnson walked to Seattle Center, and while they were together, Villar sent the woman several abusive text messages, which the woman allowed detectives to photograph, the charges say.
When the woman and Johnson returned to the park, Villar confronted Johnson, then repeatedly struck him until he fell to the ground. Police learned Villar always carries a knife that looks similar to a box cutter, according to the charges.
Police also identified four people who had been listening to music in a parked car nearby who witnessed the attack and called 911. The witnesses told police the suspect had fled the scene in a sedan and gave officers the car’s license-plate number. Interviewed separately, the witnesses all provided similar suspect descriptions and accounts of the stabbing.
Officers found the vehicle — which had a large blood stain along the bottom of the front passenger-side door — parked outside Villar’s North Seattle apartment, the charges say. He initially refused to answer his door but eventually came out and was arrested.
The charges say officers noticed blood on Villar’s shoes, which were seized and booked into evidence. Detectives also asked Villar to remove bandages from his fingers and leg and found he had abrasions to his knuckles and both knees, the charges say.