Port Angeles man gets two years in prison for jail assault, thefts

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for assaulting a Clallam County jail officer and a series of thefts, Port Angeles police said.

Britt T.O. Needham, 26, was sentenced Friday to 27 months confinement and one year community custody after pleading guilty to one count of custodial assault and three counts of third-degree theft, court papers said.

Two counts of second-degree burglary were dismissed in another case involving two of the three thefts.

Port Angeles police said Needham took cigars, beer and other items from the Fairmount Grocery at 1137 W. U.S. Highway 101 on June 29, July 5 and July 10.

Needham was arrested without incident in the 200 block of East Lauridsen Boulevard on July 11, police said.

While awaiting trial in the Clallam County jail, Needham assaulted a corrections officer who was trying to serve him lunch Aug. 18, Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Morris said in court papers.

Video surveillance showed Needham suddenly swung a left “round house” punch at the officer, striking the lawman on the side of his face, according to Morris’s report.

“[The deputy] is struck at least three more times in the face by Needham’s closed fist during the altercation prior to securing Needham back inside his cell,” Morris wrote.

The corrections deputy sustained minor injuries to his face and nose, Morris said.

Needham had his competency restored at Western State Hospital before pleading guilty to felony custodial assault and three counts of third-degree theft, which are gross misdemeanors.

The burglary charges, which involved the June 29 and July 5 incidents at the Fairmount Grocery, were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be re-filed.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly accepted the recommended sentence for Needham and imposed only mandatory legal financial obligations, according to the minutes of the sentencing hearing.

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

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