Seattle Police Arrest Former City Council Member For Slaying Stripper

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Seattle Police detained James McNeal, 58, late Tuesday night in South Seattle for the murder of a his much younger girlfriend.

Seattle Police find 20-year-old’s body

Officials came across the lifeless body of 20-year-old Liliya Guyvoronsky, who was allegedly strangled inside her residence.

Guyvoronsky was discovered unclothed on her bed, with the sheets drawn over her, the arrest document detailed.

Signs of struggle were evident from the marks discovered on her neck, forehead, and beneath her jaw, suggesting she had been strangled.

The scene was marked by traces of blood on the headboard, pillow, and carpet. McNeal was reportedly covered in blood at the time of his arrest.

According to FOX 13 News, the blood didn’t belong to Guyvoronsky, but McNeal, who attempted self-harm prior to his arrest by cutting his wrist.

He is now recovering in “satisfactory” condition after being released from Harborview Medical Center.

McNeal didn’t turn himself in immediately, but a had his attorney call 911 to report the crime a day later.

“Caller is not providing a lot of information,” a dispatcher said in audio of the 911 call. “But says he is an attorney and was notified to represent a male that lives inside this home, and then said a homicide has taken place but would not elaborate further on that.”

McNeal’s career as a Bothell community leader, spanning nearly a decade, ended on December 31, 2023, after he lost his reelection campaign.

A friend of the victim, who said Guyvoronsky worked as a stripper and faced challenges in her past, described her as kind and undeserving of her fate, but was shocked about McNeal’s involvement in the crime. “No one thinks that this is the man who is going to murder her.”

Seattle police find messages from the victim

Discovered in the residence was a written list dated April 29, ominously noting ‘do not interact w/James today’ as its final entry.

Guyvoronsky’s texts to a friend revealed dissatisfaction in her relationship with McNeal, lamenting that he had “forced a relationship” when she was “not ready.”

She described McNeal, who was recently separated from his wife and father to three children, as overbearing and manipulative.

“He is really controlling and I can tell he thinks I’m stupid because I am young,” Guyvoronsky messaged her friend.

“He’s been grooming me this whole time, trying to reprogram me to think about myself so I don’t expect anything,” she added.

“He doesn’t like older women for a reason, and I know why. They will challenge him and be harder to control.”

According to court records, McNeal has a past felony conviction for eluding police back in 1986 at the age of 19, an event he attributed to systemic racial harassment by law enforcement.

“I remember coming home everyday as a prep cook and getting pulled over in the same spot by the same cop, five days in a row,” he told a local news outlet in a past interview.

“I started to get frustrated and angry; I didn’t think ‘because I was black I’m getting pulled over’. Back then ‘racial profiling’ wasn’t a term we used,” the former city council member added.

McNeal admitted to fleeing from an attempt to pull him over due to an expired license, an act described by prosecutors as exhibiting “willful and wanton disregard for person or property.”

The pursuit that ensued saw McNeal accelerating his motorcycle dangerously fast at 75mph in a residential zone.

McNeal also detailed a brutal encounter with the police following his capture, alleging excessive force.

“I put my helmet on the seat of the motorcycle, and as soon as I put the helmet on the motorcycle I flew in the air, and they beat the [expletive] out of me,” he shared.

Beyond the criminal conviction, which he was given a lenient sentence for, McNeal’s record includes two misdemeanor offenses for reckless driving and assault.

McNeal was treated at a hospital for his injuries and has since been released, but has reportedly been a no-show in court.

“I don’t have to set any bail today,” King County District Court Judge Jill Klinge said on Thursday. “I mean it’s one thing if he’s refusing or if he is medically unavailable. It’s another thing if he’s waiving his appearance and his attorney is appearing on his behalf.”

When Klinge asked if McNeal was medically unavailable, his attorney, Brooks de Peyster said he wasn’t.

“Ok, so he could come out?” she questioned. “He could, yes,” Peyster replied.

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