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Seattle homeless man charged with manslaughter

On May 2, a homeless man pleaded not guilty to a manslaughter charge involving the death of an 87-year-old Ballard man. The charge stems from an altercation the defendant allegedly had with the victim in a Seattle store.

According to authorities, the victim was pushing a shopping cart in the QFC on Holman Road on Feb. 29 when the defendant, age 33, pulled his cart from him and pushed him. The victim fell and broke his hip. After undergoing hip surgery and several weeks of rehabilitation, he died from complications related to the injury on April 7.

There is store surveillance footage of the incident, but police were not able to identify and arrest the defendant until April 13. The defendant allegedly confessed to being the man in the surveillance footage after his arrest. According to media reports, he has a history of anger and substance abuse problems and has had previous felony convictions in California and Colorado. He moved to the Seattle area in late 2015, and police say he threatened a manager at a restaurant where he worked in December. On March 21, he also allegedly inappropriately touched a shopper at another area store and tried to stab a bus passenger with pruning shears. Prosecutors say he is a danger to society. His bail was set a $2 million.

Defendants who are facing felony charges have the right to retain a criminal defense attorney to represent their interests in court. In cases where substance abuse may be a factor, an attorney could work with prosecutors to get the defendant placed in a rehab facility in lieu of incarceration.

Source: KIRO 7, "Police: Shopping Cart Assault Leads to Elderly Ballard Man's Death," Alison Grande, May 2, 2016

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