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Burger King fatal stabbing suspect pleads not guilty
A 38-year-old homeless man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in King County Superior Court to charges he stabbed another transient man to death at a Bellevue Burger King on Aug. 17.
Steven O. Padilla is alleged to have approached a 65-year-old man, Jose L. Arias, while he was sleeping inside the Burger King on Northeast 24th Street around 3:15 p.m., and stabbed him multiple times in the upper torso, according to a police report.
Witnesses say Padilla exited the fast-food restaurant restroom and removed a knife from his jacket pocket, reaching over a partition to stab Arias. Arias staggered out of the restaurant and collapsed in the parking lot, where he was declared dead at the scene. It is believed at least two of the stab wounds contributed to Arias' death.
Padilla fled the scene, but was arrested 1 1/2 miles away. A K-9 unit led police to an office complex on the 14300 block of Northeast 24th Street, where a large, fixed-blade knife believed to have been the murder weapon was recovered.
He is being held on $1 million bail, and a case setting hearing is set for Sept. 17.