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Thursday, July 27, 2006 - Page updated at 01:54 PM

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Information in this article, originally published June 30, 2006, was corrected July 27, 2006. A previous version of this story gave the name of George Elias Estephan incorrectly as George Ellis Estephan. The wrong name was based on filings made in King County Superior Court.

Murder charge filed in stabbing

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

A second-degree murder charge was filed Thursday against a man accused of a stabbing death in Bellevue's Lake Hills area.

John David Spencer fatally stabbed George Elias Estephan on Monday, according to charging papers filed in King County Superior Court.

A dispute between the two men, who were friends, is believed to have started inside a house in the 1300 block of 144th Avenue Southeast, according to court papers.

That's where Estephan, 30, lived and where he had brought Spencer and introduced him as a potential roommate, Bellevue police Detective Robert Thompson said in a charging affidavit.

Spencer, 25, had stayed there the previous evening and had gone camping with other residents of the house over the weekend, although no one at the house seemed to know his last name, calling him only "John," Thompson added.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Monday, two other roommates saw Spencer standing in the living room, urinating on the sofa and floor, Thompson said. The roommates told Estephan what Spencer had done, he added.

One roommate went outside to sit on a small retaining wall near the driveway and saw Spencer chase Estephan out of the house, the detective said.

The roommate "watched what he described as Spencer hitting Estephan," Thompson added. Estephan's throat had been cut with a knife, Thompson said.

Estephan collapsed on the lawn, and Spencer was seen striking him with his fists, the detective said. Spencer ran from the house and was captured at another house a few blocks away when a woman there, alerted by her dog's barking, saw Spencer hiding in a spare bedroom, police said.

A bloody knife blade missing a handle was found in the street in front of the house where the attack occurred and the handle was later found in the bed of a pickup parked north of the house, Thompson said.

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Other witnesses provided similar accounts of the attack, the charges state.

Spencer, whose last-known address was in Cle Elum, Kittitas County, is to be arraigned July 10 and is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or pwhitely@seattletimes.com

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