SEATTLE — A man charged in the random stabbing of two people in Pioneer Square in September 2013 has been found to be not competent to stand trial, it was announced Thursday.
The King County prosecutor’s office said charges of murder and attempted murder were dismissed Thursday afternoon against the defendant, Donnell D. Jackson.
He now faces commitment for mental evaluation for the purpose of filing an involuntary civil commitment petition.
Jackson has been at Western State Hospital for the past year while psychiatrists have been trying to restore him to competency, the prosecutor’s office said.
Jackson, 46, was charged in the September 13, 2013, stabbings of Shoreline Community College teacher Troy Wolff and his girlfriend Kristin Ito.
The victims had just attended a Sounders game and were walking through Pioneer Square when the defendant approached them and began stabbing Ito in a random and unprovoked attack.
Wolff attempted to intervene but was also stabbed and later died from his injuries.
If Western State Hospital files a petition for involuntary civil commitment, a hearing on Jackson’s civil commitment will likely be scheduled later in the month, the prosecutor’s office said.
Under civil commitment, the defendant can remain at Western State Hospital for an indefinite period of time, and in the event his mental condition improves, prosecutors can refile charges.
“Criminal jurisdiction requires that a defendant understand the nature of the courtroom proceedings and be able to assist in his defense,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.
“The defendant’s current mental condition prevents us from moving forward with a criminal prosecution at this time,” he said, “but there is no statute of limitations on murder charges, and we will pursue the charges if and when his legal competency is restored.
“In the meantime, he would be held in secure confinement at the state psychiatric hospital,” he added.