With his head ducked to hide his face and surrounded by armed officers, accused courthouse attacker Steven D. Kravetz appeared in court Wednesday on new charges of attempted murder and assault for the alleged shooting of a Grays Harbor Sheriff’s deputy and the stabbing of a Superior Court judge last month.
Kravetz, 34, now faces four felony counts with aggravating factors for the alleged stabbing and shooting of Deputy Polly Davin and the stabbing of Judge David Edwards during a violent confrontation on March 9 inside the county courthouse in Montesano. Authorities arrested Kravetz at his mother’s house in Olympia the next day following a massive manhunt. Both Davin and Edwards continue to recover from their injuries.
Lewis County Judge Richard Brosey, who presided over the hearing to avoid the conflict of interest Grays Harbor judges would have, increased Kravetz’s bail to $900,000.
Newly filed court records charge Kravetz with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault against Davin as well as first-degree assault against Edwards. Kravetz is also charged with disarming a law enforcement officer for allegedly taking Davin’s handgun from her before shooting her in the upper arm with her own weapon.
Judge Brosey read the charges to Kravetz as he stood before the court. The judge informed Kravetz of his rights and appointed attorney David Arcuri to represent him. Kravetz did not enter any preliminary plea to the charges.
“Is there anything you’d like to say?” the judge asked him.
“I would like to talk to my attorney first,” Kravetz responded.
Brosey explained that the attempted murder and assault charges included additional allegations that Kravetz was armed with either a firearm or a knife, which both qualify as deadly weapons. Those allegations could add 10 years in prison to any sentence. The charges also include an aggravating factor that Kravetz attacked an on-duty law enforcement officer, which could allow a judge to impose an “exceptional sentence.”
Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Gerald Fuller said a preliminary estimate of Kravetz’s sentencing range if convicted on all counts could be close to 34 years in prison. That estimate did not factor in Kravetz’s previous criminal history or any potential exceptional sentence.
With the filing of the new charges came additional details of the alleged confrontation with Kravetz, which broke out near the courthouse front entrance at about noon. Davin said she responded to a complaint of a suspicious man in the courthouse hallways to find Kravetz standing at the foot of the stairs.
Kravetz has a history of bizarre behavior recorded in multiple District Court cases involving domestic violence and an escape attempt. Records show he sent lengthy manifesto-type letters to the court and was currently seeking public records about police officers who had arrested him in the past.
Davin, wearing her deputy uniform with badge and duty belt, asked the suspicious man for his name. She later told investigators he was acting strangely and could not provide any identification.
“Deputy Davin became concerned about the man’s demeanor and behavior and asked him to step outside the courthouse so that she could talk further with him,” court records stated. “As she moved toward the front door of the courthouse, the man grabbed her around her head and neck with both arms and a struggle commenced.”
Investigators believe Kravetz pulled a small knife and stabbed Davin at least twice, once in the face and in the neck. As they fought near the door, Edwards came down the stairs and pushed the man off Davin.
“As Judge Edwards intervened, he noted that the man had a knife in his hands and appeared to be stabbing the deputy,” court records stated. “When Judge Edwards pushed the man off the deputy, the man turned and stabbed Judge Edwards in the neck and upper shoulder area.”
Court records stated the attacker managed to shove Edwards away from him and turn back toward Davin as she drew her handgun. She told investigators she pointed the weapon at the man, “but did not fire for fear of hitting Judge Edwards.”
“When the man turned back toward Deputy Davin, he grabbed the gun pulling it from the deputy’s hands, stood over her, and fired twice, pointing the gun directly at Deputy Davin’s body,” court records stated. “One of the shots struck Deputy Davin in the upper left arm, creating a through-and-through gunshot wound.”
Court records stated the attacker then ran from the courthouse, taking the knife and the handgun with him, as authorities descended on the scene. Investigators believe Kravetz hid at his attorney’s nearby office and later received a ride to Olympia from his mother.
Based on descriptions from courthouse employees, investigators identified Kravetz as a suspect the next day and launched a search to find him. Kravetz’s mother learned of the search and directed authorities to her home in Olympia where Kravetz surrendered. Investigators reported Kravetz also pointed them to Davin’s pistol and the knife used in the attacks.
“Officers subsequently found the pistol, which has been positively identified by serial number, make and model as the pistol that was taken from Deputy Davin and used to shooter her, and a knife in the defendant’s bathroom,” court records stated. “Officers also … found clothing matching the description that the witnesses stated the defendant was wearing at the time of the assault …”
Investigators said Kravetz has acknowledged several details of the confrontation with Davin and Edwards.
Grays Harbor Prosecutor Stew Menefee asked the court to increase Kravetz’s bail in light of the severity of the new charges and his history of violent behavior. Menefee also argued Kravetz had previous outstanding warrants and had failed to show up for court hearings. He requested a bail increase to $900,000.
“Mr. Kravetz is a danger to commit another crime,” Menefee said. “Mr. Kravetz admits that he stabbed and shot a deputy sheriff to avoid apprehension on a bench warrant from the District Court.”
Menefee said he feared Kravetz might also try to impede the investigation, saying Kravetz had already made attempts to contact his mother in violation of a court order prohibiting him from contacting any witnesses. Some courthouse employees involved in the case were asked to stay away from Wednesday’s hearing.
“I also believe, your honor, that (Kravetz) might try to interfere with the administration of the case or possibly intimidate witnesses,” Menefee said.
Judge Brosey again ordered Kravetz not to contact any witnesses and increased the bail amount to $900,000. The judge told Kravetz his attorney would meet with him in the jail before his next hearing. An arraignment to enter a preliminary plea was scheduled for April 18.