Suspect arraigned in fatal stabbing of roommate

PORTLAND, Ore. - A North Portland man will face charges of murder and unlawful use of a weapon after police say he stabbed his roommate to death.

Stephen William Kovacs, 51, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Multnomah County Courthouse.

According to police, they were called to the 5700 block of North Haight Avenue at about 1:10 p.m. Tuesday after a stabbing was reported. They said the victim, 56-year-old Peter Conway John, died at the scene.

Police searched the neighborhood and found the suspect, Kovacs (photo at right). Police arrested him on charges of murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

Police said the two men were roommates.

After being told by a friend about what happened, one neighbor said he went into the home to try to do CPR on John. He pulled him from him the couch, placed him on the floor, and began CPR. But it was too late.

On Wednesday, the state medical performed an autopsy on John and confirmed the stabbing was what killed him.

Neighbors told KATU that John was a well-known and colorful character in the neighborhood. They said there was a man living with him, possibly as a roommate, who he was trying to help by giving him a place to stay.

Neighbors said they are devastated and described the man who died as a "gentle (6 foot 7 inch) giant" who would be out on the street corner playing his guitar and blowing bubbles.