Man sentenced for assaulting fellow inmate

Reuben Cornejo-Lemus gets three years for attack at Clallam Bay Corrections Center

PORT ANGELES — Reuben Cornejo-Lemus has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for attacking a fellow inmate at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Clallam County prosecutors announced.

Cornejo-Lemus, 22, was convicted of second-degree intentional assault with reckless infliction of substantial bodily harm after a three-day jury trial in Clallam County Superior Court.

“The jury also determined that Cornejo-Lemus had committed the crime against a vulnerable victim, a 71-year-old fellow inmate,” said Matthew Roberson, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney and the trial attorney.

Cornejo-Lemus, who was incarcerated after a robbery conviction, was sentenced to an additional 35 months in prison last Tuesday. The standard sentencing range was 15 to 20 months.

Roberson had requested a 48-month prison sentence for Cornejo-Lemus.

Judge Brian Coughenour found that Cornejo-Lemus committed the crime against a vulnerable victim before imposing the 35-month sentence to be followed by 18 months of community custody.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Cornejo-Lemus punched the victim twice while the victim was seated on a bench on the morning of March 22, 2018.

Cornejo-Lemus rolled the victim on the floor and kicked him twice in the face, Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy James Gribbon said in the affidavit for probable cause.

“After the second kick, it appears there is blood visible on [the victim’s] face,” Gribbon said after reviewing surveillance footage of the assault, which the jury also saw.

The victim was treated at Forks Community Hospital and Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Gribbon said the victim sustained a cheekbone fracture, nasal bone fracture and an eyelid laceration. The victim told hospital staff that he did not lose consciousness during the assault, Gribbon said.

It took the jury about two hours to reach a verdict Sept. 18, according to the minutes of the trial.

“In determining his sentence, Judge Coughenour commented on the lack of provocation for the assault and discussed the extent of the victim’s injuries,” Roberson said.

Cornejo-Lemus now has two strikes under the state Three Strikes law, Roberson said.

A third violent or sexual offense would result in life in prison for Cornejo-Lemus under state law.

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

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