Suspect charged in Lewis-McChord soldier's stabbing death

TACOMA, Wash. - The Pierce County prosecutor charged a Puyallup man with second-degree murder Tuesday in the stabbing death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who intervened in a domestic violence assault.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist also charged 29-year-old Chase Devyver with attempted murder and robbery in the assault Sunday on his girlfriend.

Prosecutors say the incident began early Sunday, as the defendant and his girlfriend were sitting in a parked car in front of their residence in South Hill, arguing about their relationship.

When the girlfriend exited the vehicle and walked toward the house, Devyver followed and stabbed her from behind, prosecutors say. Her screams woke up the soldier, who was stabbed to death when he went to her aid.

Devyver then retrieved a gun from another room and demanded the girlfriend's credit and debit cards. He hit her in the head with the gun, took her keys and stole her car, prosecutors say.

Pierce County Sheriff's deputies later spotted the stolen car on 176th Street East, and Devyver led police on a pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 90 mph towards Canyon Road.

The defendant lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a power pole. After he climbed out of the vehicle, he told deputies to shoot him. He was stunned with a Taser and arrested.

A military spokesman later identified the solider who died as 38-year-old Sgt. Shawn A. Woods of Cedar Hill, Tennessee. Woods was a member of the 2nd Stryker Brigade at Lewis McChord.

"[Sgt. 1st class] Shawn Woods was a model [non-commissioned officer], leader, husband, father and friend to all of the [Troop A] Family," said 1st Lt. Charles Rugg, the executive officer of Troop A, 8-1 Cav. "Woods always lived the Army values and placed the needs of others above his own; he will be truly missed."

Woods was slated to retire from the military later this year after serving 20 years on active duty.