OLYMPIA—An inmate at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC) pled not guilty Friday to charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office, accusing him of repeatedly stabbing a corrections officer with a 4- to 5-inch metal shank.
The Attorney General’s Office charged inmate Carlos Avalos with one count of Assault in the First Degree with Deadly Weapon Enhancement in Clallam County Superior Court on April 22, 2014. The state alleges Avalos approached a correction officer from behind while the officer was working on a computer in a “staff only” section at the facility then stabbed him repeatedly in the neck. The officer immediately activated his body alarm.
The state alleges Avalos continued to attack and slash the officer until another officer discharged a canister of pepper spray on Avalos, causing him to cease the attack. The other officer also called for assistance and was then able to handcuff Avalos until other officers arrived and the area was secured.
According to the state’s court filings, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office found the 4- to 5-inch shank in the hallway with blood on it. The state’s charging documents allege the shank came from a piece of metal removed from a heating vent in a cell, which was then sharpened to a point.
The injured corrections officer suffered numerous cuts to his face, head, neck, hands and torso, including a long gash on his face adjacent to his right eye and a cut on his throat. He was taken to a hospital in Port Angeles by ambulance.
According to the state’s charging documents, the injured officer said he had never interacted with Avalos and the attack was completely unprovoked.
Avalos is currently serving a 10-year exceptional sentence imposed in 2012 for attacking a counselor at a juvenile correctional facility with a shank. He is not scheduled for release until at least 2022.
Assault in the First Degree is a Class a Felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to $50,000 in fines plus other restitution, costs and assessments.
Assistant Attorney General John Hillman is prosecuting the case at the request of the Clallam County Prosecutor. A Clallam County Superior Court judge set a trial date of August 11.
“Our state’s corrections officers serve a vital public safety role,” Ferguson said. “While we are relieved the officer is recovering from this attack, we look forward to bringing Mr. Avalos to justice.”
The state’s declaration for determination of probable cause consists of allegations that have not yet been proven in a court of law. The state of Washington has the burden to prove any and all of its allegations in court.
— 30 —
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
• Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725
• Alison Dempsey-Hall, Deputy Communications Director, (206) 641-1335