Inmate pleads guilty to second-degree assault

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam Bay Corrections Center inmate has pleaded guilty to second-degree assault after he repeatedly punched a cellmate in June 2016, the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced.

Kenneth Edward Gill, 32, of Vancouver, Wash., pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree assault — substantial bodily harm for the attack in June 2016.

He was sentenced to three-years, seven months for his second “strike” offense under the state’s three strikes law, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Kennedy said.

“Under Washington law only the most serious violent felony or sex offenses are considered ‘strike’ offenses,” Kennedy said in a news release.

“This case constituted Mr. Gill’s second ‘strike’ offense meaning that if he is convicted in the future of another ‘strike’ offense he will face a mandatory life sentence.”

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Gill fractured a cellmate’s left orbital bone in an unprovoked attack at the state prison June 24, 2016.

A corrections officer said he heard a voice saying “stop stop” and ran to Gill’s cell, Sgt. James Dixon said in court papers.

The corrections officer saw Gill hitting his cellmate in the face and chest with closed fist punches. The victim was lying on the bed face up as he was being punched, Dixon said in the affidavit for probable cause.

“[The victim] said he was lying down to take a nap and inmate Gill left the cell,” Dixon said in the arrest report.

“When inmate Gill returned he began to hit him in the face and chest.”

The victim sustained three fractures around his left eye socket in the attack, Dixon said.

He received reconstructive surgery of his orbital bones at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Kennedy said.

Gill did not provide a motive to investigators, Dixon said.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour sentenced Gill to the low end of a 43- to 57-month standard sentencing range.

Gill was originally charged with first-degree assault — great bodily harm before changing his plea.

He had prior felony convictions for second-degree assault — substantial bodily harm, possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree rendering criminal assistance, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, possession of a controlled substance and attempting to elude a police vehicle.

Gill was being held Thursday at the Washington Corrections Center near Shelton.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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