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Originally published Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 6:57 PM

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Man charged in fatal stabbing after fight at Auburn barbecue

A 24-year-old man was charged Thursday with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing another man during an argument between three people Monday in Auburn.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Neighbors had already broken up a fight between a man, his live-in girlfriend and another woman late Monday in Auburn when King County prosecutors say Marcus Frounfelter inserted himself into the dispute and fatally stabbed an unarmed man in the chest with a pocket knife.

Frounfelter, 24, of Seattle, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder, accused of killing Roger W. Roberts, a 23-year-old man Frounfelter had never met, according to charging documents. Bail has not yet been set for Frounfelter, who is in custody in the King County Jail and is expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

Frounfelter is the nephew of the live-in girlfriend involved in the fight, according to charging documents. He and other relatives were at his aunt's house for a barbecue.

The woman's boyfriend went across the street to a neighbor's house and stayed there for about an hour. She then angrily yelled for her boyfriend to come home and she and another woman began fighting with him in the 900 block of Sixth Street Southeast, the papers say.

The neighbor and his friend, Roberts, separated the man and women until everyone had calmed down, at which point Frounfelter came out of his aunt's house and confronted the neighbor, charging papers say. The neighbor walked back across the street to his house and when he turned to call to his friends, he saw Roberts stumble then collapse in the middle of the street, the papers say.

Police and medics responded at 11:56 p.m. but Roberts died at the scene. He died from a 4-inch-deep stab wound to his chest that punctured his heart, according to prosecutors.

Frounfelter, a woman, a teenage boy and Frounfelter's two young children, ages 3 and 1, quickly left in an SUV but were stopped by police a few blocks away from the stabbing scene, charging papers say. An officer found a black folding knife in Frounfelter's pocket and "immediately noticed it had a significant amount of blood on the blade," charging papers say.

Frounfelter apparently suffers from brain trauma and has had 19 surgeries to address his health issues; the right side of his body was paralyzed after a series of strokes, the papers say.

In July 2007, Frounfelter used a pocket knife to stab a man, also a stranger, in front of the man's father's house in Burien, according to court records. Frounfelter apparently thought the man was a member of a Bloods street gang and Frounfelter was a self-described member of the rival Crips gang, according to court records. Frounfelter also threatened to shoot the man's brother.

He later pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and fourth-degree assault and was sentenced to three months in jail.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

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