Seattle Chef Stabbed to Death at Light Rail Station

The attorney representing the suspect in last Saturday’s fatal stabbing at a Seattle light rail station appeared in court Tuesday afternoon when prosecutors presented the charges of second-degree murder, witness tampering, and a deadly weapon enhancement. The defendant chose not to attend the hearing.

According to court documents, Chef Cory Bellett was fatally stabbed while at the Capital Hill Link station after he inadvertently brushed against the suspect on the escalator. When the two got to the platform, a fight broke out and the suspect repeatedly stabbed Bellett with a box cutter.

The King County Medical Examiner determined that Bellett was stabbed three times, including once in the torso and once in the neck.

In Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutors requested a $3 million bail for the defendant, whose name has not been released.

King County Deputy Prosecutor Jason Brookhyser cited a significant flight risk if the defendant was released and the potential danger he posed to the community.

Defense attorney Brooks DePeyster argued against the onerous bail, suggesting that the defendant reasonably feared for his life after “getting shoved, unprovoked, next to the light rail tracks.”

Cory Bellett, the chef at Harry’s Fine Foods, was a well-known chef in the Seattle area.

In a May 12 statement, Harry’s Fine Foods owners Jake Santelli and Julian Hagwood described Bellett as a “dear friend” and “devoted” chef “who infused his passion into every dish he crafted.”

Seattle residents and light rail passengers meanwhile have called for an increased security presence on the platforms and trains.

A spokesperson from Sound Transit said in a statement that passengers and staff safety was its “top priority” and insisted that violence on the light rail system was “extremely rare.”

Sound Transit has committed $250 million over six years to bolster security. Currently, nearly 500 transit officers monitor the system along with 65 deputies from the King County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect in Bellett’s murder was expected to appear in court on Thursday.