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Charges upgraded against Spokane Valley man accused of stabbing 4 people, dog

Newly filed court documents are offering insight into what led up to the stabbing in Spokane Valley on Sunday.
Credit: KREM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Charges have been upgraded against a Spokane Valley man accused of stabbing four people and a dog, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. 

James Neill, 43, is now charged with four counts of attempted murder, first degree robbery and animal cruelty. His bond is set at $1 million.  

Newly filed court documents are offering insight into what led up to the stabbing in Spokane Valley on Sunday.

Sheriff's deputies and a Liberty Lake police officer responded to the 3500 block of North Velox Road at about 10:05 a.m. on Sunday for reports of the stabbing, according to Spokane County Sheriff's Corporal Mark Gregory.

According to court documents, the primary resident of the home said he was cooking breakfast on the morning of the stabbing and Neill was reading a Bible.

The man told authorities he believed Neill had recently been ingesting illicit drugs and had not slept for a period of time. He then told Neill to "go get some sleep," court documents say. 

The man’s back was to Neill as he was cooking, according to court documents. Neill then armed himself with a large knife, walked over to the man’s position and ran the knife across his throat, he said.

Neill was apparently holding the blade in a manner that did not allow the sharp portion of it to cross the skin of the man’s neck, though he did receive a small injury from the point of the knife, court documents say.

The man told authorities that he believed Neill was trying to kill him, though Neill did not say anything during the altercation. Afterward, he yelled for the boyfriend of another resident at the home to tell him Neill was armed with a knife.

According to court documents, the man ran out of the back door to a shed behind the home and armed himself with a hammer. The resident’s boyfriend joined the man and was also armed.

Neill exited the home a short time later and left the scene, using the man’s white 2001 Ford Taurus to make his escape, court documents say. The man told authorities that Neill has never had permission to use his vehicle.

The man also reported that his Chihuaha, Moose, was attacked by Neill during the incident. According to court documents, the dog received a “large incised wound across his back.” SCRAPS responded to the scene, intending to take Moose to an emergency veterinarian for treatment.

Moose is expected to survive but his status was unknown at the time of the court documents’ filing.

RELATED: Moses Lake man charged with animal cruelty, dog killed by animal found at home

The second victim tried to disarm Neill, but had his arm slashed during the argument, according to Gregory.

Gregory added that the second victim said Neill was allegedly attempting to break into a bedroom where a woman in her 50s and a young child were located.

According to the press release, Neill stabbed the child in the upper torso as the woman pleaded with Neill to stop the attack.

The second victim entered the room and allegedly hit Neill several times with a crowbar, during which he may have broken the knife, Gregory said.

Neill eventually gained possession of the crowbar and fled the residence in a stolen white 2001 Ford Taurus from the first victim, according to Gregory.

After the attacks, Neil allegedly tried to steal another car but was unsuccessful. 

At approximately 10:35 am., a deputy saw Neill still driving the stolen Ford northbound on Bruce Road south of Peone Road.

Police said they pursued Neill as they approached Highway 2. Eventually, Neill's stolen vehicle spun out of control due to a PIT maneuver before going into a ditch on the side of the road and rolling onto its top, according to Gregory.

Gregory said Neill broke out a window and fled on foot. Deputies ordered him to stop, advising he was under arrest, according to Gregory.

Deputies then shot beanbag rounds that hit Neill twice but had little affect, police said, with Neill surrendering shortly after. 

Gregory said only Neill required hospitalization and all victims, including the dog and the child, are expected to recover from their injuries.

The stolen car was seized pending a search warrant, Gregory said.