Second mistrial called in prison case

PORT ANGELES — A mistrial has been declared for the second time in three months for a Clallam Bay Corrections Center inmate charged with punching a correctional officer in the face.

Roy Purcell Jackson, 30, was transported back to the West End prison Tuesday after a Clallam County jury could not reach a verdict at the end of a two-day trial.

Jackson was charged in January with one count of custodial assault for an alleged attack on correctional officer Michael Chandler.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Jackson entered a prison office where Chandler was working and punched him “at least five times” with a closed fist Oct. 7, 2018, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson declared a mistrial Tuesday after the six-man, six-woman jury announced that it was deadlocked.

The jury deliberated for more than four hours and re-watched a video of the alleged assault before the mistrial was declared, according to the minutes of the trial.

A mistrial had been declared April 30 after a jury trial in Superior Court.

Steve Johnson, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, said his office is considering if it will try Jackson a third time.

Jackson has a status hearing Aug. 23.

Johnson would not comment on the case.

“Since it’s still an active case, I don’t want to get into my thoughts about the case or about the jury,” Johnson said in a Wednesday interview.

“If we wanted to try him again, we could,” Johnson said.

Said defense attorney Charlie Commeree of Clallam Public Defender: “I sincerely hope that the state does not waste any more resources on a third trial, and I’m not alone in believing this.”

Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Anderson said Chandler had a swollen left ear and a bloodshot eye after the attack but was not seriously injured. Chandler testified at both trials.

Chandler told investigators that Jackson became agitated the day before the attack because the kitchen had not provided him with a special meal, according to Anderson’s report.

Chandler then provided a halal meal for Jackson, which Jackson did not eat, according to Anderson’s account.

Anderson said Jackson suddenly attacked Chandler when Chandler was seated in an office.

“Jackson had punched him in the left cheek, the left ear, had tried to punch him in the neck, and then several more times to the face,” Anderson wrote in the affidavit for probable cause.

Jackson was arrested in May 2011 in connection with a shooting on a Metro bus in Kent, The Seattle Times reported.

Jackson was charged with first- and second-degree assault for critically wounding a SeaTac man in the shooting and threatening the bus driver at gunpoint, according to the Times.

Custodial assault is a Class C felony.

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