A 50-year-old man has been charged with murder after prosecutors say he stabbed two women, killing one, who declined his offer to light their cigarette in Cal Anderson Park earlier this month.
David Lee Nichols was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree assault in King County Superior Court Monday, according to charging documents. Nichols is a commercial truck driver who has lived in a Fife motel for about 8 months, according to charges. He remains in King County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
Rayshauna Webber, 25, died July 14 from a stab wound to the chest that hit both ventricles of her heart. At a vigil held Friday in front of the Central District Starbucks where Webber used to work, her family and friends wore shirts featuring a photo of Webber and her 6-year-old daughter smiling. They said they were struggling to understand why she died.
“We’re at a loss for why somebody would do this to her,” said Gregory Beavers, Webber’s uncle. “This is a 25-year-old who will never get to see her daughter graduate, get married. For her to die like this is so senseless.”
Before dispersing, the group released balloons and watched them disappear into the sky. Webber’s young daughter left with a family member, clinging to a framed photo of her mother.
According to a probable cause document outlining police’s case against Nichols:
Webber was with two friends in Cal Anderson Park the early morning of July 14 when Nichols approached them and offered to light their cigarette. Webber’s friends told police that when they declined, Nichols made a derogatory comment, the document says. Seattle police have not provided information on the nature of the statement.
The friends told police that Nichols argued with them, then pushed Webber, who pushed him back. At some point during the fight, Nichols grabbed a Karambit knife, which has a curved, claw-like blade, from a sheath on his belt. He punched and stabbed Webber in the breast, hitting both ventricles of her heart, according to police. He punched her again and turned to one of Webber’s friends, leaving a small cut on her breast.
Police said Nichols walked away from the victims, who were both on the ground, and drove away in a car.
A medical student was performing CPR on Webber when police arrived around 2:45 a.m. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where she died that day from her injury, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police said they obtained surveillance video that showed the suspect coming and going from the scene. It also showed him going into a business on Pine Street, and officers were able to get Nichols’ name because he used a credit card. They found he had a car matching the one in the surveillance video.
Webber’s two friends selected Nichols out of a photo montage showing six different men of similar appearance, police said.
Nichols was arrested in Tacoma. According to police, Nichols said he pulled out a knife during an altercation with three women and ran away after one of them was stabbed. He told police he noticed blood on his hands and the knife when he got in his car, and he threw the knife out the window on his way home. According to prosecutors, he hid his bloody clothes in a dumpster in Longview.
Nichols was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2001 for a concealed-weapons permit violation in Oregon, according to prosecutors. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 5.