Suspect in Alleged Stabbing of Fellow Microsoft Employee Pleas Not Guilty to Attempted Murder – GeekWire

Joseph Cantrell, seen through a plexiglass separator in King County Superior Court in Seattle on Thursday, talks with his attorney, public defender John Evers, following his arraignment on charges of second-degree murder. (Geekwire Photo / Todd Bishop)

A 27-year-old engineer who joined Microsoft last year pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to the company’s charge of indiscriminately stabbing another employee on a public sidewalk near Redmond on the evening of February 22. , Wash., HQ.

The allegations against Joseph Richard Cantrell came amid an investigation into the 234,000-word “Life Journal” discovered on his website after the attack. In it, he describes extensive drug use and frequent hallucinations, makes racist references to people he encounters, and at one point says he considered killing his friends at a 2017 retreat .

Their website describes the magazine as fictional. In the introduction, however, Cantrell calls it a “holistic life journal and literary exercise”, adding that it should be “published independently and posthumously to help humanity or whatever.”

Internet Archive records indicate the journal was first posted publicly the day before the alleged attack, meaning the detailed entries would not have been available to Microsoft when it was hired last year.

In a statement to GeekWire, Microsoft defended its practices for job candidates.

“Microsoft conducts a thorough background check for all potential employees. This includes criminal history, education credentials and employment history,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said Thursday in response to inquiries about the matter. “If an issue arises during any screening, there is a collaborative internal process to determine whether the proposal should be finalized or rescinded.”

Cantrell is no longer an employee, the spokeswoman said.

A public bio that was online at the time of Cantrell’s Microsoft application makes reference to a “neural disturbance” in which she “danced and interacted with processions of iridescent ‘ghost’ women, so that I could sometimes be seen through the derisive Misty Night”. Company can be found. It stated, “By a combination of selectively disconnecting certain neurons and slowing adrenaline release, I declare for the first time that I am the strongest man alive by such a mechanism.”

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Cantrell wrote in his diary that he applied to Microsoft’s neurodiversity hiring program. Applicants to the program “engage in an extended interview process that focuses on performance, interview preparation, and skills assessment,” according to a description on Microsoft’s website.

The location of the alleged assault at the northwest corner of NE Turing Street and 156th Avenue NE in Redmond. (Geekwire Photo / Todd Bishop)

According to the Redmond Police Department report, the 26-year-old victim in this case did not know Cantrell, and it appears that he was targeted at random. He had surgery for more than a dozen stab wounds and nerve damage to his hands. A spokesman for the hospital said he survived and was released from Harborview Medical Center in late February.

According to several witness reports cited by the police, the attack took place on 22 February at around 5:45 pm.

According to police reports, the victim’s wife learned that her husband’s Apple Watch notified her that a hard fall had occurred at the site of the attack, Northeast Turing Street and 156th Avenue NE in Redmond. The clock then indicated that the device was in Seattle. (The victim was taken to Harborview after the attack.)

Joseph Cantrell after his arrest. (Redmond Police Photo)

A driver in his truck at the intersection told police he saw a man dressed in black “stabbing the shit” of another man. Both he and a Microsoft van driver jumped out of their vehicles and yelled at the man to stop.

The assailant stopped and left. The driver from the intersection, now back in his truck, followed the man a block-and-a-half west before losing sight of him between two buildings.

Redmond police detectives were able to find Cantrell after the attack by reviewing surveillance footage in a nearby apartment building and following a trail of blood on its floor. As noted in the police report, surveillance cameras inside the nearby Microsoft building captured much of the video of the attack.

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After obtaining a search warrant, a SWAT team took Cantrell into custody at his apartment at 12:45 am on February 23. According to court papers, evidence found inside included several Tac-Force knives, one with a red stain believed to be blood. ,

“It appears that the defendant was prepared for this significant act of violence,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brian NH Jacobson in the charge paper. “He was armed with a knife and gloves. He assaulted the victim shortly after she exited his apartment building. He then quickly returned to his residence and attempted to destroy evidence of his involvement.

In King County Superior Court in Seattle on Thursday morning, Cantrell’s attorney, public defender John Evers, lost a motion to prevent the media from photographing his client. Details of the case were not discussed in open court and Cantrell did not speak publicly.

Evers pleaded not guilty on behalf of his client, and did not oppose the prosecutor’s request to keep Cantrell in jail after the arraignment. A hearing was set for March 30, with the trial set to begin in April.

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