Prosecutors not charging man arrested in Alki Beach stabbing

SEATTLE — Prosecutors say they are not charging a man who was arrested earlier this week in connection with a fatal 2018 stabbing near Alki Beach.

The King County Prosecutor's Office said Friday that the 25-year-old man has a "plausible" claim that he acted in self-defense during the altercation where Jonathan Pecina was killed.

According to Seattle Police, Pecina and his friend were walking on Alki Trail near Luna Park the night of June 2, 2018, “acting aggressively, confrontational, and belligerent” toward others on the crowded road, witnesses said.

At about 10 p.m. that night, Pecina and his friend encountered another man on the inland side of the street, and a confrontation and subsequent fight ensued.

Pecina was stabbed in the neck with a large knife. Police and medics rendered first aid at the scene, including CPR, but Pecina died from the stab wound.

The man was arrested Monday at a West Seattle coffee shop after detectives received DNA evidence linking him to an item left at the crime scene.

Prosecutors say the man who was arrested "appears to be mentally unstable and to have a severe drinking problem," and say he told investigators he does not remember the altercation. The prosecutor's office also says that independent witness accounts show he was "surrounded, taunted, and baited" by two men prior to the attack.

The Associated Press contributed to this report