By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Jefferson County prosecutors allege Donovan P. Smart, 22, of Port Angeles stabbed Paul Arcudi, 46, of Seattle in the early morning hours of Oct. 4, 2013, after a night of drinking in Port Angeles with him and two of Arcudi’s friends, Timothy Vincent, 23, and Stephen Sibson, 27, both of Seattle.
Smart pleaded not guilty Dec. 10, and his defense attorney, Ben Critchlow of Port Townsend, is arguing the stabbing was intended to defend himself from a sexual assault.
A trial was originally set for Jan. 6 but has been continued five times since. The trial is now scheduled for Oct. 6-8 and 13-15.
Smart’s charges carry a maximum penalty of $50,000 and/or life imprisonment.
According to filings in Jefferson County Superior Court, deputies gave this account:
Smart met Arcudi, Vincent and Sibson at the R Bar in Port Angeles after the Seattle trio had been playing craps at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn.
Arcudi invited Smart to come back to the Discovery Bay condo after the bar closed.
When they returned to the condo, Vincent and Sibson went to a bedroom to watch a movie while Arcudi and Smart continued drinking in a hot tub, according to police.
About 20 minutes later, Vincent and Sibson found a naked Arcudi pounding on their bedroom door, bleeding from multiple stab wounds.
Sibson pepper-sprayed Smart, and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene.
They arrested Smart and took him to the Jefferson County jail. He posted $100,000 bail.
Arcudi was taken to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton for treatment.
In Critchlow’s self-defense filing, he said Smart told investigating detectives Arcudi had attempted to force him to perform fellatio in the hot tub.
Smart said he left the hot tub and Arcudi followed him. Smart grabbed a knife from the kitchen counter and stabbed Arcudi three times, once in the chest; other wounds were in the upper back.
Critchlow’s self-defense filing said Smart had become uncomfortable during the drive to the condo and said, “You guys better not be taking me back to beat me up and rape me.”
Critchlow has asked the court to allow admission of Arcudi’s history, which includes a 1996 conviction for sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old boy in Cook County, Ill.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.