Former student pleads guilty to assault

Kirk Boxleitner kboxleitner@ptleader.com
Posted 7/4/17

A former Chimacum Middle School student who was arrested May 30 by Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with trespassing on school grounds pleaded guilty June 29 to two counts of assault …

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Former student pleads guilty to assault

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A former Chimacum Middle School student who was arrested May 30 by Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with trespassing on school grounds pleaded guilty June 29 to two counts of assault in the second degree with a deadly weapon.

Jefferson County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Anna Phillips noted that the 14-year-old defendant had been charged with four counts of assault – against his father, deputies Brian Anderson and Jason Avery, and Chimacum Middle School Principal David Carthum – for incidents that allegedly occurred on the Chimacum campus May 30.

During a June 14 pretrial hearing in Jefferson County Juvenile and Family Court, Phillips introduced a fifth count of assault in the second degree with a deadly weapon, which prosecutors say occurred against a fellow minor May 29 in Port Townsend.

“He was charged in two separate cases,” Phillips said. “They involve similar conduct, though one was on a campus and one was on the street. He pled guilty to one count of assault in the second from the Chimacum case, and the remaining counts in that case were dismissed as part of the plea. In the Port Townsend case, there was only one count, and he pled guilty to the charge of assault in the second.”

The other counts in the Chimacum case, which were dismissed as part of the plea, were one count of possession of marijuana by a person younger than 21 years of age and one count of unlawfully carrying or handling a weapon capable of inflicting harm.

Phillips explained that the student was sentenced to 52-65 weeks on each count of assault, to run consecutively, for a net effect of a sentence of 104-130 weeks. She added that the exact length of the sentence would depend upon the youth’s behavior.

“This was not an exceptional sentence,” Phillips said. “It was the standard range for the crimes considering his criminal history.”

Phillips said that the youth is to stay at the Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Facility until Juvenile Rehabilitation completes a diagnostic study to determine which facility would best suit him and meet his needs while he is incarcerated.

THE INCIDENT

In a May 30 probable-cause report, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Avery wrote that the suspect had been listed as a runaway and was reportedly seen by his father walking from Chimacum Middle School toward Center Road. (The Leader is not identifying the father because to do so would identify the juvenile. The Leader does not name juveniles involved in crimes.)

“While en route, deputies were informed [the youth] was now in the middle school principal office,” Avery wrote in his statement. “Deputies were then told, just prior to arriving at the office, [the youth] had left on foot out of the back of the middle school building.”

Avery wrote that deputies had joined school staff in searching the school grounds for the suspect, who was later located coming out of a baseball dugout and running into the north wing of the high school.

“While entering the building, a witness saw him stash items into a fire extinguisher box near the door, and continue inside the building,” Avery wrote. “When deputies examined the inside of the box, they found a bag of green leafy matter suspected of being marijuana.”

When the suspect “came back out in front of the middle school common area” and another deputy saw him display a knife, Avery “immediately requested” that the high school office lock down the school until the suspect was apprehended, according to his report.

Avery described the knife as having a 3.5-inch blade and wrote in his statement that the suspect threatened to kill the deputy who had drawn his sidearm, prompting Avery and the other deputy to draw their Tasers.

“After several minutes of threatening to kill deputies, his father and [Principal Carthum], [the youth] turned the knife on himself, holding it to his heart, stating, ‘I just need to be with my homeys,’” Avery wrote. “After continued negotiation, he dropped the knife and was taken into custody. While in custody, [the youth] made threats, stating, ‘I won’t forget you. I won’t be in forever. You better learn to duck. I’m coming for you.’ I asked [the youth] if he was threatening me. He replied, ‘Hell yeah, [word redacted],’” according to the probable-cause statement.

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