Jury selection to begin next week in knife attack trial

PORT ANGELES — Jury selection is set to begin Monday in a case against a Port Angeles man accused of stabbing a roommate in the abdomen and exposing his intestines.

John Greystoke, 50, is charged with one count of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon for an alleged knife attack in west Port Angeles in April 2016.

Greystoke has been representing himself in the case and will represent himself at trial.

“The state is hoping that we can have this trial done in a week, understating that sometimes pro se trials tend to take longer,” Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson said in a Tuesday hearing on pretrial motions.

Defense attorney Harry Gasnick, Clallam Public Defender director, has been serving as Greystoke’s stand-by council.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly granted Tuesday 15 pretrial motions as presented by the state.

The motions will prevent Greystoke from making references to unrelated criminal cases, perceived mistreatment by jail staff, physical ailments, financial difficulties or other legal proceedings.

“The state wants to ensure that the trial is about the issue at hand,” Johnson said, referring to the charge that he must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

The motions granted by the court also will prevent Greystoke from making reference to “prior bad acts” by state witnesses, including alleged drug use.

“Whether somebody used controlled substances in the past, or has even used them after this incident, is irrelevant to whether or not that person was stabbed,” Johnson said.

Greystoke objected.

“It is relevant,” Greystoke said, “because illegal drug use and theft in my apartment are not acceptable.”

Greystoke appeared at the hearing wearing a black-and-white-striped jail-issue uniform. He will be allowed to wear civilian clothing at trial.

The final motion signed directed Greystoke to remain at the attorney’s table when the alleged victim testifies.

Port Angeles police alleged that Greystoke stabbed Adam Gross on the 800 block of South C Street and ran away April 24, 2016.

Officer David Dombrowski wrote in the arrest narrative that he observed Gross’ intestines hanging out of his torso from a severe laceration.

“He had been eviscerated,” Dombrowski wrote in the affidavit for probable cause.

Gross told police that Greystoke had invited him and his girlfriend to stay at Greystoke’s residence and that Greystoke became “increasingly paranoid” about the couple’s presence causing an eviction.

Gross told police he was stabbed by Greystoke at the apartment door when he returned from an errand.

After the alleged stabbing, Greystoke was seen running away wearing tight pink leggings and a pink and beige jacket, police said. He was arrested later that day at a psychiatric rehabilitation center in Port Angeles.

A Western State Hospital psychologist determined in a December 2016 assessment that Greystoke was competent to stand trial.

Greystoke is being held in the Clallam County jail on $200,000 bail.

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

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