Neighbors broke into an apartment Sunday night in an attempt to save a woman's life, court documents say. 

Major Crimes detectives worked overnight and developed probable cause to arrest Marquis Smith for the murder of his mother, detectives said on Monday.

The Spokane Police Department reported that Smith, 41, was arrested without incident for first degree murder-domestic violence. 

Police say, at about 9:45 Monday morning an officer stopped a suspicious person near the intersection of Wall Street and Greta Avenue. That's just over two miles north from where the stabbing happened Sunday night. 

The officer asked the man, identified as Smith, to take his hands out of his pocket. 

Then, he was taken into custody without incident.  

Dispatchers confirmed Smith had an outstanding warrant. He was arrested and taken to the Major Crimes office before being booked into Spokane County Jail.

The Department of Corrections shared  2009 mugshot of Smith. 

This photo was taken January 23, 2009.
Department of Corrections

Records say he was under DOC jurisdiction for three counts of assault and one count of Unlawful Imprisonment.

DOC said he was incarcerated twice. From November 1999 to August 2001 and from March 2003 to December 2003.

Briggs said Spokane police received a 911 call about a possible stabbing in the 800 block of West Walton Avenue around 11:30 p.m. 

The caller told dispatchers that a woman and her son were arguing inside the apartment and the woman was screaming for help, documents said. Neighbors from other apartments tried to help the woman, according to documents. 

Witnesses said they saw Smith on top of his mother, who was down on the floor, and he appeared to be hitting her. Court documents said neighbors were eventually able to get inside the home. Smith fled the home through the back door and struggled with one of the neighbors briefly, documents stated.

Police arrived on scene and found the woman had "apparent sharp wounds on her neck," documents stated.   

Despite life-saving efforts of Spokane police officers, Spokane Fire and medics, the woman died. Her identity will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office.

According to court documents, there had been previous domestic violence calls to the apartment. During one call on April 13, the victim said Smith had threatened to hurt her unless she were to call the police. 

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