Port Angeles transient charged with attempted murder in Port Townsend stabbing

PORT TOWNSEND — A Port Angeles transient was charged with one count of attempted first degree murder Monday after an alleged stabbing attack Sunday morning in Port Townsend.

Matthew Robert Malone allegedly attacked a Port Townsend transient known to police as David Arbuckle.

Malone, 22, made his first appearance in Jefferson County Superior Court on Monday via video from the Jefferson County jail.

Judge Keith Harper set bail at $500,000. An arraignment is scheduled for Friday at 8:30 a.m.

“Based on the probable cause statement, based on allegations, that fact that you don’t live in the area and don’t have any connection to the immediate area, and allegedly went out of your way to come here, I think you are a high risk to not show up at this point,” said Harper.

“More importantly, you are an extreme risk of danger to the public. I impose a bail set today as requested of $500,000 cash or bond, along with the other conditions of release.”

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Julie St. Marie said the state will be filing a motion for a competency evaluation.

Malone has no Washington state felony history. He has several third-degree theft convictions in Clallam County from earlier this year. He will be represented by court-appointed attorney Ben Critchlow, a former public defender.

Arbuckle, 57, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with multiple stab wounds on his upper back, shoulders and head.

Port Townsend Police Department spokesperson Keppie Keplinger said that as of Monday afternoon, Arbuckle’s condition was listed as stable and that he is expected to be in the hospital for a few more days.

Port Townsend police were called to the area of Quincy and Jefferson streets near Memorial Field at 9:16 a.m. Sunday to multiple reports of an assault involving two males.

According to a Port Townsend police report, Malone allegedly attacked Arbuckle in an unprovoked manner, “ostensibly at the direction of demons/spirits/angels who told him what to do.”

The report says Malone “purchased the knife used in the attack on Friday from Swains store in Port Angeles, specifically for the purpose of killing someone. He traveled by bus to Port Townsend in the early morning and apparently began looking for the right subject to attack.”

Malone told police that “he saw Arbuckle walking around town and followed him, as directed by the spirits. He attacked him from behind and stabbed him repeatedly with the ultimate goal of killing him,” according to the report.

Arbuckle was initially taken to Jefferson Healthcare hospital with stab wounds but was subsequently airlifted to Harborview for advanced trauma treatment.

Malone was taken into custody at the scene and transported to Jefferson Healthcare hospital for treatment of a minor laceration on a finger believed to have been self-inflicted during the attack. He was transported to the Jefferson County jail and booked.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].

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