Man pleads not guilty to murder in Bellevue stabbing death

BELLEVUE -- A 38-year-old man pleaded not guilty to 2nd degree  murder Wednesday in a King County courtroom.

Prosecutors say Steven Ovington Padilla stabbed and killed a 65-year-old man inside a Burger King restaurant in August.

Witnesses told police that Padilla was eating in the restaurant on Northeast 24th Street in a separate area from the victim, identified in court documents as Jose L. Arias, 65.

According to court documents, Padilla came out of the restaurant’s restroom, took a knife out of his jacket pocket, walked up behind Arias and started stabbing the victim in the upper torso area. Arias stumbled out of the restaurant and died.

The suspect fled on foot, witnesses said. But police found Padilla about a mile and a half away, documents said. He was found to have a fresh laceration on the inside of the left thumb and fresh abrasions on his left knuckle, the documents said. A K-9 unit led to the recovery of a large fixed-blade knife within a sheath nearby, police said.

Prosecutors say Padilla has several 4th-degree assault convictions between 2003 – 2011 and a 3rd-degree assault conviction from last year. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.