A homeless man accused of killing a stranger with a hatchet in Seattle's Capitol Hill Neighborhood is a suspect in another homicide investigation, according to charging documents released Tuesday.
Michael LaRosa, 26, was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday for an attack on Nov. 22 in which he struck Joseph LaMagno, 58, with a hatchet and killed him, the documents stated. Those documents also said LaRosa is a suspect in a homicide that occurred 24 hours earlier in the International District.
Seattle police officers responded to a call of a man who was down on the ground suffering from a head wound at 5th Ave. S. and S. Weller St. around 8:40 p.m. on Nov. 21.
Seattle Fire Department medics were already on the scene treating the unresponsive 64-year-old man who was bleeding profusely from the head. It appeared initially that the injury may be been caused when the man fell, striking his head against a metal pipe attached to the building.
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The victim was transported to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Police also began investigating the case as a possible assault. An autopsy that was performed on the man who died Friday determined that he more injuries than originally reported and that his injuries were not consistent with a fall, but with a serious assault.
The victim, Dale Richard Holme, was homeless and struggled with dementia, prosecutors said. He stayed frequently at the Union Gospel Mission shelter about four blocks from where he was found.
La-Rosa, a man with a long history of mental illness and violent crime, was arrested on the spot after the Capitol Hill attack and told police he'd never killed anyone before, he didn't know LaMagno and he heard voices that sounded like LaMagno was making comments about La-Rosa's sister, police said.
He's in jail with bail set at $5 million, scheduled for a Tuesday arraignment.
KIRO-TV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.