John Greystoke of Port Angeles examines a notepad during his trial for first-degree assault during his Thursday appearance in Clallam County Superior Court. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles man found guilty of stabbing roommate

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam County jury has convicted John Greystoke of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing a roommate in the abdomen, slicing open his small intestine.

Greystoke, 50, was convicted Thursday after a four-day trial in Clallam County Superior Court.

He will be sentenced Nov. 1.

It took the jury less than three hours to reach a guilty verdict on the felony charge and to determine that Greystoke was armed with a deadly weapon when he committed the offense April 24, 2016.

Greystoke chose to represent himself at trial. He faces a sentencing range of 93 months to 123 months on the assault charge and another two years for the deadly weapon enhancement, Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson said.

The total sentencing range for Greystoke is nine years, nine months to 12 years, three months.

“I believe that justice was done in this case,” Johnson said after the trial.

Port Angeles police said Greystoke stabbed Adam Gross just outside the door of their apartment on South C Street when Gross returned from an errand.

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

Gross recovered after having surgery to remove a 1-foot section of his small intestine, the jury panel learned.

Two doctors testified that “without surgery, Adam Gross dies,” Johnson told the jury.

“He dies either from bleeding out, or he dies from having his small intestine pour its contents into his abdominal cavity, causing infection, likely sepsis, and then death,” Johnson said during his closing statement Thursday.

Johnson argued that Greystoke acted with intent to inflict great bodily harm.

He noted that Greystoke did not brandish or wave the 3½-inch blade before stabbing Gross in a premeditated attack.

“He plunges [the knife] into Mr. Gross’ abdomen and opens him up, eviscerating him,” Johnson said.

“The only intent Mr. Greystoke could have had was he intended to inflict great boldly harm.”

Witnesses said they saw Greystoke running away from the apartment wearing tight pink leggings and a pink and beige jacket after the stabbing. He was arrested at a Port Angeles mental health center a short time later.

After the attack, Greystoke told police where to find the weapon and repeatedly told an officer that he had “knifed” the victim, Johnson said.

Greystoke was unshackled during the trial and was allowed to wear civilian attire. He did not call himself to the stand.

At times, Greystoke appeared confused by the proceedings. He often relied on advice from stand-in counsel Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender.

During closing arguments, Greystoke suggested that the state had not met its burden of proof.

He implored the jury to “consider inconsistencies with the prosecutor’s witnesses during testimony.”

Greystoke noted a lack of blood in photographs taken of the crime scene.

“This is all the blood found on the carpet, inside the apartment and outside the apartment,” Greystoke said.

“How [Gross] got a large evisceration like that is beyond my comprehension.”

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly denied Greystoke’s motion to admit new evidence Wednesday.

The evidence consisted of a 5-inch-thick stack of notes and other papers that included portions of the U.S. Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.

Melly said he found no legal grounds to admit what he described as “essentially compilations of paper.”

A Western State Hospital forensic psychologist found Greystoke competent to stand trial in December 2016.

The trial was delayed several times in 2016 for the psychological examination.

After the verdict was read in court Thursday, it was noted that a defense exhibit that was not admitted as evidence was mistakenly provided to the jury, Johnson said in a telephone interview.

The evidence had no bearing on the verdict but needed to be addressed on the record, Johnson said.

Johnson said he could not recall what the evidence in question was.

When asked to assess the trial and the pro se defense, Johnson said: “I thought that the court and the defendant handled the situation professionally.”

“I believe that justice was done in this case, that Mr. Gross suffered a very serious, nearly fatal injury,” Johnson said.

“That was very clear from the evidence.”

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

 

Acting as his own attorney, John Greystoke shows the jury a photo of a knife he allegedly used in the April 2016 stabbing of his roommate in Port Angeles as Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly observes Thursday in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)