FOLLOWUP: Suspect arrested in encampment death, bail set at $1 million

FIRST REPORT, 11:38 AM: Yesterday we reported on the big police response along southbound Highway 509 (shown in our clip above) as officers investigated the death of a 25-year-old man in the unsanctioned encampment on the slope between the highway and Myers Way. This morning, an update from Seattle Police:

As part of Monday’s investigation, SPD Homicide detectives determined an assault had occurred within the encampment. Police arrested a 43-year-old man for investigation of homicide and booked him into the King County Jail.

The suspect has a fairly lengthy criminal record, according to state online files; the felony cases are mostly drug-related. As it turns out that he was booked last night, he’s likely to have a bail hearing today, which means we may have more information later about what police believe happened.

5:08 PM UPDATE: Prosecutors say the suspect waived the right to appear at his bail hearing; he’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail. The document prepared for the judge says that when emergency responders to the site got there yesterday, the victim “appeared to have traumatic injuries to the head.” Tips from witnesses at the scene led police to the suspect, who was taken downtown to be interviewed. The probable-cause documents say he told police he and another man hit the victim with a baseball bat; witnesses gave differing stories of what they saw.

ADDED WEDNESDAY EVENING: The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Dillon P. Graham, and the cause of death as “blunt force” head injury, ruled to be homicide. The suspect remains in jail.

6 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Suspect arrested in encampment death, bail set at $1 million"

  • Chuck June 6, 2017 (1:55 pm)

    Very sorry to hear of this young man’s death.

    I remember driving back from the airport at the end of April when the foliage was still light; I could not believe the amount of tents I saw in the woods along  highway 509. The more well-known I-5 “jungle” encampments and those under the overpasses/W Sea bridge were obvious. But just realizing that our homeless problem extended to every part of “unclaimed” land and green spaces was sobering. 

    Paul Allen’s donation and a new mayor and council will go a long way to getting help to those who want it. Not sure how you help those who don’t want it.

  • flimflam June 6, 2017 (4:54 pm)

    wow. the city needs to get serious here – all the camps with their cute names are a fraction of what is really happening re: “unsanctioned” camping. it is simply not safe – for those camping or the communities nearby. its not really possible to argue this. offer services and enforce the law (drugs, trespassing, camping, etc.). folks that won’t accept services should NOT be simply left to their own devices in the woods/greenbelts.

  • Sam June 6, 2017 (8:28 pm)

    There is a senior housing place across the street from the woods you are speaking about and the residents there are fearful of going out after dark.  They have heard gunshots and loud yelling at night.  There were at least 13 RVs on both sides of the street and the trash they leave is horrendous.  Where do these people empty their waste water????  It is a very unhealthy place.  The sanctioned homeless camp is well run and very specific in who they let come in.  They keep their place clean and the shower truck comes around.

    What we have been told is the woods people are filtered in with criminals.  Something has to change.

    • pw June 7, 2017 (11:05 am)

       You are correct Sam.  Something has to change.  The citizens of this city need to recognize that our elected leaders on the city council and the mayors office only give lip service to actually solving any real homeless issue.  All the while, tens of millions of dollars are wasted under the guise of more ‘new plans’ , and being paid to so called social organizations that there people are profiting from.     

  • JoB June 9, 2017 (8:24 pm)

    pw. i wish that wasn’t true.. but it is :(

  • Crystal Hunter June 27, 2017 (11:16 am)

    I hope that there will one day be a place to live were We can still be as free to live as we are now an not have any one to take advantage of our situation at hand 

Sorry, comment time is over.