PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man accused of injecting his non-diabetic stepuncle with potentially deadly doses of insulin was sentenced Thursday to 10 years, 10 months in prison.
Robbie Wayne Davis entered an Alford plea to amended charges of first-degree assault-administers a destructive or noxious substance and two counts of harassment-threats to kill.
Davis, 41, was charged in 2014 for the attempted murder of Richard Haynes and for threatening to kill a caseworker and the deputy prosecuting attorney assigned to his case.
Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin and defense attorney John Hayden had recommended a 10-year prison sentence for Davis.
Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour added 10 months to the recommendation based, he said, on the facts of the case and the vulnerability of Haynes, who had Down syndrome.
“Having reviewed this case and everything about it, and hearing about the victim and the vulnerably of that victim in regard to what happened here and what brought about the charges, I just don’t see any reason why the court would not, at the very least, go to the midpoint of the standard range on this case,” Coughenour said.
The standard sentencing range was 111 months to 147 months.
The Alford plea means Davis did not admit guilt but conceded there was enough evidence for a conviction.
Port Angeles police alleged that Davis injected Haynes with lethal levels of insulin in December 2013, March 2014 and June 2014.
The harassment-threats to kill charges stemmed from letters that Davis had penned from the Clallam County jail.
Port Angeles Police Chief Brian Smith said Wednesday the sentence was a “very good outcome.”
“We’re very pleased and we appreciate the work of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, specifically Michele Devlin,” Smith said.
“Our detectives and officers worked very hard on that case.”
Davis did not address the court Wednesday other than to say he understood the judge’s instructions and to enter his pleas.
None of the victims or members of Davis’ family was present.
In lieu of a victim impact statement, Devlin reviewed the case and displayed a photograph of Haynes, who died Oct. 15, 2014, at the age of 57 after contracting pneumonia.
“He suffered from Down syndrome and he suffered from the associated complications of such,” Devlin told the judge.
“He was described as functioning at the average level of a 3-year-old. He needed constant caretakers. He was essentially helpless.”
After his mother’s death, Haynes was being cared for by his diabetic brother, his brother’s wife — Davis’ mother — and Davis himself. The extended family lived together east of Port Angeles.
Haynes was first admitted to Olympic Medical Center with low blood sugar after having a seizure in December 2013, Devlin said.
“He was hypoglycemic, he was in an altered mental state and had low heart rate,” Devlin said.
Shortly after a visit from Davis on July 25, 2014, an OMC nurse found Haynes with dangerously low blood sugar and syringe marks on his arm.
After his recovery, Adult Protective Services moved Haynes to a home in Forks. He died of complications of pneumonia four months later.
In letters read aloud by Devlin, Davis complained about caring for his stepuncle and Haynes’ presence in the household.
“I can’t believe Richard didn’t die with all that insulin,” Davis wrote.
“And you just came back for more and more. So what I thought I would do is give you a higher dose this time, but you still did not die.”
In a letter intercepted by a fellow jail inmate, Davis said he would get “revenge” on the caseworker and deputy prosecutor.
He threatened to “find them and put them 6-feet under, put them under the water and leave them for the crabs … stab them with a pen in a rage” or go the “Spartacus way of cutting off their heads and putting them on a pole.”
“Do not f—- up, b——es, because God is looking forward to seeing you real, real soon,” Davis wrote.
The trial had been reset several times since Davis’ arrest because of delays with DNA testing and scheduling conflicts.
Devlin said the resolution was the result of extensive plea negotiations, discussions with law enforcement and consultations with the victims.
“This is a tragic situation in a lot of ways,” Hayden said.
Hayden said his client made a “reasonable and intelligent decision” to resolve the case based on a cost-benefit analysis.
Given Davis’ history of head injuries and long-term reliance on Supplemental Security Income, Coughenour agreed to waive $11,514 in medical costs and $392 in other jail costs.
Davis will receive credit for the 791 days that he had already served in jail. He will be on community custody for three years after his release.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].