Mistrial denied, evaluation ordered for convicted stabber

John Greystoke

John Greystoke

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam County judge has denied John Greystoke’s motion for a mistrial and ordered a presentencing investigation for the convicted stabber.

Greystoke, 50, was convicted of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon Oct. 12 for stabbing a roommate in the abdomen, slicing open his small intestine, in April 2016.

He will be sentenced Dec. 6.

Greystoke, who chose to represent himself, moved for a mistrial because an item that had been marked as an exhibit but was not admitted at trial was inadvertently presented to the jury.

Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly found that the jury was not prejudiced by the error because the marked exhibit, a petition for writ of habeas corpus, was proposed to be admitted by the defendant.

“The exhibit that went back to the jury room inadvertently was one that was offered by you,” Melly told Greystoke.

“There’s no prejudice. That was something that you offered and wanted the jury to see.”

Melly cited a 1954 case in ruling that the mistakenly admitted evidence did not warrant a new trial.

A Clallam County jury returned a guilty verdict with a deadly weapon enhancement after a four-day trial last month.

The victim, Adam Gross, testified that Greystoke was waiting for him at the door to their C Street apartment and stabbed him when he returned from an errand April 24, 2016.

The 3½-inch blade eviscerated Gross, who likely would have died without surgery, according to testimony.

Port Angeles Police Officer David Dombrowski said he observed Gross’ intestines hanging out of his torso from a severe laceration.

Officer Jeffrey Thaxton testified that Greystoke admitted to stabbing Gross over a dispute about Gross and his girlfriend staying at his apartment, court papers said.

Greystoke is facing a sentencing range of 117 months to 147 months — or nine years, nine months to 12 years, three months — Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson has said.

Johnson on Wednesday cited a law that requires the court to order the state Department of Corrections to prepare a pre-sentencing report before a person who might be mentally ill can be sentenced.

Greystoke had two mental health evaluations at Western State Hospital, where it was determined that he was competent to stand trial and was capable of assisting in his own defense.

“They also reported that he had schizoaffective disorders and psychotic disorders that were unspecified,” Melly said.

“While he was competent to stand trial, the court is aware that — based upon a review of those reports as well as the court’s own observations of Mr. Greystoke in court — that Mr. Greystoke does suffer from mental health issues.”

Melly said the language in Revised Code of Washington 9.94A.500 subsection 1 is non-discretionary and that the pre-sentencing report is non-waivable by the defendant.

“The court is of the opinion that that is mandatory language,” Melly said.

“The court will order a pre-sentence report.”

Greystoke requested the presence of stand-by counsel Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender at the pre-sentencing investigation.

In an Oct. 24 letter to the count, Greystoke asked for leniency at sentencing.

“I need meds and treatment to get over my psychosis, not a trip to the state farm for 11 years,” Greystoke wrote.

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

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