SEATTLE - Police have arrested the suspect accused of killing a man on Alki Beach more than a year after the crime. The suspect's extensive criminal history helped officers make that arrest.
Police announced the arrest today 13 months after the crime rocked neighbors on Alki Beach.
They found Jonathan Pecina with a stab wound near Alki and Harbor Avenues Southwest on June 2 of last year. Seattle police say yesterday's arrest came down to the suspect's DNA being entered into the state's crime database.
In fact, two days before they got a match on his DNA, he was detained on another charge. That was last week. Now he is in the King County jail suspected of a murder that shocked the people who live on Alki Beach.
The stabbing death of 22-year-old Pecina, coming as it did as scores of people watched in horror, was a murder Seattle police would not let go.
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"It was a particular concern just in that it was an incredibly violent attack," said Seattle Assistant Police Chief Deanna Nollette.
To see the graphic video police released, you can click on this link to the Seattle Police Department’s blotter page. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Nollette held a rare news conference to discuss the arrest. She said the nature of the attack and where it happened led police on a dogged pursuit.
"Mr. Pecina was stabbed in the neck," Nollette said. "And that event not only, I'm sure, devastated his family. But we had families on Alki that were there with other family members. And it's traumatic just to see a sight like that."
The murder happened on Alki Beach the second of June last year, on a late spring Saturday night. Pecina got into an altercation with a man he did not know. He was stabbed so viciously, bled so profusely, neither the heroic work of good Samaritans nor first responders, could save his life.
Seven months later, in an unprecedented move, Seattle police released graphic video of the incident. And Assistant Chief Nollette delivered this message to his killer.
"We have your DNA," said Nollette on the YouTube video. "It is in your best interest to contact us immediately."
What detectives did not know is that the suspect, 25-year-old Nickolas Osborne, had long been in their sights.
"He's been involved in a number of altercations both within Seattle and we're becoming aware of other altercations in other cities," said Nollette. "We found one specifically in Redmond."
Eleven days after Pecina's murder, Osborne was arrested in Redmond for threatening to murder people leaving a "24 Hour Fitness." But crucially, nearly three months before the Alki murder, he was arrested for trying to set a Seattle patrol car on fire while he was inside.
That is when his DNA was entered into the state's criminal database. And last Tuesday, it matched the DNA from the murder scene. Then Monday, Osborne was taken into custody.
"And knowing what we know now it appears that there could be elements of a hate crime," Nollette said.
Osborne was a no-show at his bail hearing. His arrest was the result of old fashioned police work and modern science.
"I'm pleased that he's in custody," said Nollette. "I'm pleased anytime we arrest someone who is a violent perpetrator who is a homicide suspect. I am pleased anytime we improve public safety. And I truly believe that we have improved public safety by arresting him."
Osborne was ordered held here on $500,000 bail. For the moment, at least, he is being held for investigation of Pecina's murder.
The King County prosecutor is expected to decide whether to add a hate crime to that allegation, too.
Click here for our previous coverage.
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