Port Angeles man sentenced for assault with homemade machete

Anthony Robert Cousins pleads guilty

PORT ANGELES — Anthony Robert Cousins has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison for attacking a woman with a homemade machete last summer.

Cousins, 38, of Port Angeles was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson imposed the 111-month sentence as recommended by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sarah Woolman and Defense Attorney Larry Freedman. One count of theft of a motor vehicle was dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea, court papers said.

Clallam County sheriff’s deputies said Cousins attacked a woman with a machete-like weapon last July 7, cutting her head and back.

The woman was treated at Olympic Medical Center for a “full thickness laceration” of the back of her skull and a superficial laceration of her back and side, Sgt. James Dixon said in the affidavit for probable cause.

Cousins unlawfully entered a residence at 415 N. Lees Creek Road just east of Port Angeles and struck a woman with a piece of metal that “looked similar to a machete taped to an axe handle with black electrical tape,” Dixon said.

Witnesses told investigators that Cousins was acting “weird” before the assault, chanting and rubbing his fingers together.

“Anthony picked up the weapon and started striking [the victim] to the back of her head and to the back of her torso,” Dixon said in the arrest report.

A man who witnessed the assault said he chased Cousins down the street but was unable to catch him.

Another witness told investigators that Cousins suddenly attacked the woman as she walked through a dining area, hitting her “at least twice,” knocking her to the floor, Dixon said.

The victim said she did not know Cousins, who entered her room and sat down.

“[The victim] said when she walked out of the room the man attacked her with a weapon,” Dixon said.

Cousins pleaded not guilty at his July arraignment but changed his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity in November.

A forensic mental health evaluation dated Jan. 31 found evidence that Cousins was high on methamphetamine and “acutely paranoid” at the time of the attack.

In a Dec. 16 interview with Dr. Barry Ward of the state Office of Forensic Mental Health Services, Cousins said he had relapsed into methamphetamine use under the weight of losing his job, his home and custody of his children. He also suspected his wife was having an affair, Ward said.

Cousins said he had been awake for 10 days at the time of the attack, according to Ward’s report. He said he had stopped using methamphetamine in June in an effort to get visitation with his children.

“There is little direct data about Mr. Cousins’s mindset at the moment of the alleged assault,” Ward wrote.

“There is very little information to suggest that Mr. Cousins lacked the ability to perceive the nature or quality of his act, and there is very little data that would suggest he lacked the ability to tell right from wrong.

“It is my professional opinion that even if the jury resolved factual issues in favor of the defendant, the current dataset does not support an insanity defense,” Ward said.

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

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