Kirkland Murder Suspect Still in Custody at JBLM As Army Processes Its Charges
Dakota Miles Wolf is charged by the military with assault and being AWOL, but the Army says at some point he will be transferred to the King County Jail.
By Greg Johnston Email the author December 19, 2011
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The Kirkland soldier charged in the stabbing death of Scarlett Paxton, also from Kirkland, remains in custody at Joint Base Lewis-McChord while military authorities work through their own charges against him.
The King County Prosecutor's Office filed first-degree murder charges Thursday against Dakota Miles Wolf, a 2010 graduate of Juanita High School and, like Paxton, 19 years old.
Charging documents say evidence shows Wolf attacked Paxton with a butcher knife as she returned to her north Juanita apartment from a walk with her boyfriend just before 3 a.m. on Nov. 30. The King County Medical Examiner's Office said Paxton died of wounds to her neck, and the charging documents indicate she also sustained cuts to her leg, chin and left hand, the latter consistent with defensive wounds.
I Corps Maj. Chris Ophardt of the U.S. Army at JBLM near Tacoma said Monday that Wolf remains at the base corrections facility and is charged by the military with being absent without leave, assault and missing a mandatory unit movement.
I Corps Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield said the Army is working with the Kirkland Police Department to transfer custody, but the process could take some time.
“We’re still in the judicial process on this side … under the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” he said. “We do recognize the severity of the crime he is charged with, murder, and that it is more serious than what we have charged him with. We understand what the family is going through and that they seek some closure. We’re working closely with the Kirkland Police Department.”
Wolf is a private first class in the Army’s 2nd Stryker Brigade and missed a mandatory training maneuver at Fort Irwin, Calif., in November, said JBLM spokesman Joe Piek. He joined the Army in August 2010.
Neither of the I Corps officers would elaborate on the assault charge against Wolf and said they were not sure when Wolf would be transferred to the King County Jail. Wolf is scheduled for arraignment in the King County Courthouse next week, on Dec. 28. Preliminary bail has been set at $2 million.
Kirkland Police said earlier they could not find any connection between Wolf and Paxton, who was found by her boyfriend, Michael Lawson, 19, slumped on the stairway to their shared apartment. But in a press release last week announcing the charges, Kirkland Police said they continued to explore any possible link between the two.
However, both Wolf and Paxton are apparently longtime Kirkland residents of the same age. Paxton was attending BEST High School in Houghton and had attended Kirkland Junior High.
Charging documents indicate Wolf’s mother lives in north Juanita, and that he was staying with the parents of a friend at the time of the murder, at a house not far from the murder scene.
The Kirkland Reporter newspaper has quoted a source it did not identify as saying the two indeed knew each other, that both used to hang out at the Kirkland Teen Union Building in downtown Kirkland, and apparently did not care for one another.
Kirkland Police Detective Allan O'Neill said he could not respond specifally to that, except to say, "Of course we are following up on every lead we get."
Paxton was memorialized Saturday by family and friends during a packed and emotional service at Life Community Church in Kirkland.
Related Topics: Dakota Wolf, Kirkland Police Department, Kirkland murder, and Scarlett Paxton
I'll probably see this one at work when JBLM releases him to King County