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November 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Inmate found guilty of 2011 attack on Kent jail guard

A King County jury returned a guilty verdict Tuesday afternoon in the first-degree assault trial of Sean Graham for beating a corrections officer at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent in January 2011.

The jury, which heard opening statements in the case on Nov. 12, also found Graham guilty of three counts of custodial assault for injuries sustained by other officers in the struggle to get Graham under control, but found him not guilty on a fourth count, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

In addition, the jury returned a special verdict, determining that Graham, 36, knew King County Corrections Officer Gil Letrondo was a law-enforcement officer at the time of the attack and that Letrondo — who fell to the floor unconscious, before Graham stomped on his neck and chest — was a vulnerable victim.

Those aggravating circumstances can be used by prosecutors in seeking an exceptional  sentence above the standard range.

Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, said Graham faces a standard sentence of roughly 17 to 23 years for the first-degree assault charge. Prosecutors haven’t yet decided what sentence they will recommend, and a sentencing date has not been set but will likely happen in the next month, he said.

According to court and jail records, Graham was booked into the jail at the county justice centere in Kent in July 2009 on a first-degree robbery charge, accused of threatening a friend and two other people with a handgun over a $10 debt, then robbing them of $50. He was awaiting trial on that case — which is still pending — when he was accused of attacking Letrondo on Jan. 11, 2011.

Graham was mad and threatened Letrondo after Letrondo found food in Graham’s cell and told Graham, who was housed alone in his cell 23 hours a day, that he would lose his hour outside his cell as punishment for the rule violation.

Graham is also charged with second-degree assault in Pierce County Superior Court for allegedly strangling a fellow patient at Western State Hospital in August 2013, court records say. He is accused of committing that assault while at the hospital for a competency evaluation in connection with the assault on Letrondo, according to the records.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: assault, jail guard attacked, Maleng Regional Justice Center

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