A 48-year-old felon with a history of mental illness has been taken into police custody for the murder of 31-year-old Sierra Club organizer Shannon Harps. Hours after Harps was fatally stabbed outside of her Capitol Hill condo on New Year's Eve, Seattle Police say they interviewed James Anthony Williams—previously convicted of burglary, theft, and multiple charges of assault—who gave detectives a DNA sample. After nearly four weeks of waiting, tests came back linking Williams to Harps's murder. Williams had been in custody since January 16 at the King County Jail for violating the terms of his department of corrections community supervision.
After the DNA tests, he was transferred to SPD custody, where he confessed to murdering Harps. Seattle Police say Williams did not know Harps and believe the attack was random. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE
Prominent Democratic fundraiser Colby Underwood, who earlier this month sued former employee McKenna Hartman for starting up a competing firm after leaving Underwood's office ["Fund Fight," Erica C. Barnett, Jan 24], has just one other incident on his file at King County Superior Court. But what an incident: According to the superior court documents, when Underwood was 15, a superior court judge granted a restraining order against the teenager for alleged racial harassment against two of his neighbors in Shoreline. The petition for a restraining order alleges Underwood put up a racist sign in his neighbors' yard, tore up their garden, and made over-the-top racial and sexual slurs that are shocking and appalling. Underwood refused to comment about the 1993 antiharassment order. ERICA C. BARNETT
While the arrest of Shannon Harps's killer comes as a relief to Capitol Hill residents, a late-night shooting outside of Capitol Hill nightclub the Baltic Room, which left 25-year-old Maurice "Moe" Alan dead, has provided yet another example of what appears to be an increase in the number of violent incidents in the neighborhood.
On January 26, just before 1:00 a.m., Alan tried to enter the Baltic Room—on the 1200 block of Pine Street—to attend the club's weekly hiphop music night. Alan was denied entry because the clothes he was wearing—a sweat suit and baseball cap—violated the club's dress code. According to the club's owner, Alan attempted to bribe the Baltic Room's head of security to get into the club, and was turned down. Moments later, as he stood in front of the club in a smoking area, another man—not yet identified—approached Alan and shot him. The shooter fled before police arrived. According to witnesses, there was no fight or confrontation preceding the shooting, and no one else was targeted during the attack. SPD's gang and homicide units are investigating. JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE