Port Hadlock man accused of assaulting grandmother declared competent

Judge sets trial to begin Jan. 13

PORT TOWNSEND — A Port Hadlock man who allegedly struck his grandmother in the head with a rock has been declared competent to stand trial following two admissions this year at Western State Hospital in Lakewood.

Atticus Colter Burrows, 22, has been evaluated three times by Western State doctors since last January, when the alleged assault occurred.

He has since been involved in two altercations at the Jefferson County Jail, where he remained Saturday in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Based on a Western State report filed Nov. 7 in Jefferson County Superior Court, Judge Keith Harper restored Burrows’ competency during a special hearing on Tuesday and set his trial to begin Jan. 13.

Burrows has been diagnosed with unspecified schizophrenia spectrum disorder, currently in early partial remission on medication, and substance abuse disorder of a stimulant, according to the Western State report written by Lauren Smith, a licensed psychologist at the Center for Forensic Services.

Burrows was charged Jan. 16 with first-degree domestic violence assault with great bodily harm and first-degree domestic violence robbery after Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies said he attacked his 77-year-old grandmother while she was in her bedroom.

The woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with what medics described as a “head wound with exposed brain tissue,” according to the probable cause affidavit written by Sgt. Brett Anglin.

The woman was treated and discharged from Harborview for further treatment at another facility the following day.

Both charges are Class A felonies, punishable by a maximum of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

While Burrows was at the Jefferson County Jail in February, he allegedly stabbed an inmate repeatedly in the head with what corrections officers referred to as a “jail-safe pen.”

As a result, prosecutors charged Burrows with second-degree assault with reckless infliction of substantial bodily harm. The inmate received treatment at Jefferson Healthcare hospital and was later returned to the jail.

The Class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Then in March, Burrows was charged with two counts of third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer after he allegedly spit on and punched two corrections officers at the jail.

The Class C felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

The Western State report offered the opinion that Burrows “has the capacity for a rational understanding of the proceedings against him and has the capacity to assist in his own defense.”

Burrows’ defense attorney, Richard Davies of Jefferson Associated Counsel, was present via teleconference during the evaluation Nov. 6.

Burrows initially had a competency evaluation March 29 while he was at the Jefferson County Jail, but the court ordered a 15-day hospitalization period from April 30 through May 15.

During that time, Dr. Sukhinderpal Aulakh reported Burrows made statements about being “covered in blood and loved it” even though he was taking a shower, according to the Western State evaluation.

“He was put in segregation and there was a time he was banging his head and also had been on different medications while in jail,” Aulakh wrote about Burrows’ present illness last spring. “There were other times he had been banging his head and he was taken to Jefferson County Health Services and evaluated where no abnormalities were found.”

Aulakh’s report stated Burrows had “odd thoughts about Lucifer, he wanted death penalty and lethal injection and had shown some mood debility though generally he was goal-directed and reality oriented with occasional disorganization.

“There were times he was seen laughing to himself,” Aulakh’s report continued. “He had been put in restraints on multiple occasions because of his agitation and aggression towards peers.”

Burrows was prescribed medication, deemed to be incompetent and sent back to jail in May, the Western State report said.

Burrows self-reported to Aulakh that he attempted to kill his father when he was 15, according to court documents. He told Aulakh he was put in a juvenile facility because of legal problems and stayed there for about 2½ years.

A State Patrol report compiled for Western State on April 1 showed no known criminal history in Washington.

Burrows was admitted into Western State for a second time on Aug. 12, when he began the process to restore competency, according to the hospital evaluation.

During his Nov. 6 assessment, Burrows reportedly was well-groomed, made eye contact and communicated effectively, Smith wrote in the Western State report.

Smith concluded Burrows had factual understanding of the charges against him and rational understanding that extended to the legal system.

“He did not endorse any overt delusional ideation when discussing matters related to his current case, nor did he appear to be experiencing any symptoms of mood instability during the current evaluation,” Smith wrote, noting Burrows was complying with taking prescribed medications.

“Should he discontinue his medications or [use] illicit substances in the community, he could decompensate and experience an increase in symptoms.”


Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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