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Haggart charged with first-degree murder in Cara Neil stabbing

On July 25, Redmond resident Daniel Haggart was charged with first-degree murder after a fight on July 18 ultimately ended in the death of a 17-year-old Redmond girl.

Cara Neil died July 23 from stab wounds to the chest.

At 10:50 p.m. on July 18, Redmond police responded to reports of a fight outside of SoulFood Books at 15748 Redmond Way. Officers and fire personnel arrived, provided first aid to Neil and arrested 25-year-old Haggart. According to a Redmond Police Department (RPD) press release, the suspect and victim were acquaintances.

King County charging documents state that Haggart allegedly, "with premeditated intent to cause the death of another person, did cause the death of Cara Neil." He was also accused of allegedly "being armed with a deadly weapon, to-wit: a knife."

SCENE AT THE TIME

Charging papers state that when the responding RPD arrived on the scene, an officer saw Neil lying on the ground in the breezeway between SoulFood Books and Snapdoodle Toys, which is next door to the cafe. The papers go on to state that the officer informed dispatch that Neil "had possibly multiple stab wounds, was unresponsive and had vomited." When they discovered a stab wound to Neil's chest, she was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. There were about four people around Neil trying to tend to her injuries when the officer arrived, documents state. One of those individuals was Haggart, who was not wearing a shirt.

The responding officer spoke to witnesses on the scene, some of whom claimed to have seen a shirtless male involved in an argument. Others reported that the shirtless male "had been seen with a knife earlier in the evening. Another witness reported seeing Haggart and Neil pressed against each other, almost in an embrace."

THREATENING TEXTS

Prior to the assault, Haggart had contacted his girlfriend, Jennifer Fox, who reported receiving threatening text messages, according to charging documents. Fox had saved the messages and shared them with police.

The first text, which came in at 10:32 p.m., stated "if u don't call me I'm stabbing the first person I see." This was followed by a text at 10:35 p.m. stating, "cause I'm going to kill someone. Since I can't live without u." Another three minutes pass, followed by two more texts, one minute apart: "u better let me know cause I'm killing the first I see" and finally, "and I will get killed by RPD."

RPD responded to the scene within 10 minutes of Haggart's texts to Fox.

According to the charging documents, Fox said Haggart had wanted her to come see him and became angry when she did not show up immediately.

The documents state that the incident began because "Neil was defending (Fox) which made Haggart upset, causing him to walk away. Neil reportedly shouted out to Haggart for walking away, calling him (an expletive)."

When Fox arrived on the scene, charging documents state that she "observed Neil collapsed on the ground. She also stated she watched Haggart walk back towards Neil, and the group surrounding her, with a knife in his hand."

A HISTORY OF CRIME

Additional officers arrived on the scene and according to the documents, one officer saw the group around Neil as well as Haggart standing by himself at the curb, near the parking stalls, in between the two businesses. When Haggart made his way toward Neil and the group, the second officer removed him from the group to talk to him about what had happened. During the conversation, officers noted "several scratches across (Haggart's) abdomen as well as on his neck. There appeared to be some dried blood on the scratches," according to the documents. Haggart claimed these wounds were self inflicted from a knife.

When officers approached Haggart to document the scratches, documents state that the suspect "intentionally spit a significant amount of saliva" in one of the officers' face. The officer, who had been in uniform, went to the hospital for decontamination.

Officers also found a silver knife, along with Haggart's wallet, keys and hat in the area where he had been standing at the curb, documents state.

"We opened the knife blade and discovered blood covering the blade," the documents state. "The top portion of the blade appeared to be bent. The knife measured approximately 7 (inches) from handle to tip of blade and the blade alone was approximately 3 (inches)."

After Haggart was arrested, documents state that he said he was "(expletive)…for something (he) may or may not have done." Haggart also referred to a recent assault and stabbing in Redmond, which occurred June 13 and involved three 20-year-old male suspects, who allegedly stabbed a 28-year-old man while on the trail along the west side of the Sammamish River. Charging documents state that Fox was a witness in this case, as well.

The Reporter covered this case in its June 20 and June 27 issues.

According to charging documents, Haggart has a prior adult felony conviction for trafficking from 2011 and juvenile felony convictions for second-degree assault in 2005, custodial assault in 2005 and 2006 and second-degree escape in 2004. Haggart "also has a lengthy misdemeanor history, including numerous adult and felony convictions…and several recent convictions for theft," the documents state.

Haggart is being held in King County Jail on $1 million bail. His arraignment is set for Aug. 6.

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