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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 9, 2015 at 2:28 PM

Man who beat guard unconscious gets 25 years

An inmate who beat a King County jail guard unconscious was sentenced by a judge on Friday to 25 years in prison.

Sean Graham, who was convicted of first-degree assault for the 2011 attack on former corrections officer Gil Letrondo, faced a standard sentence range of  17 to 23 years.

Prosecutors, however, requested an exceptional sentence of 30 years, noting the victim was a law-enforcement officer and “vulnerable” because Graham continued to assault Letrondo after he was unconscious.

Graham  — whose first name has also been spelled Seon —  was charged with first-degree assault for the attack on Letrondo and with four counts of custodial assault for injuries sustained by four other guards who struggled to control Graham in the aftermath, court documents show. Jurors found Graham guilty of three counts of custodial assault but not guilty of a fourth count, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

According to court and jail records, Graham was booked into the Maleng Regional Justice Center 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  when he was accused of attacking Letrondo.

Graham was 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 alleged assault on Letrondo, according to the records.

Prosecutors said when jail officers conducted a routine “protective sweep” of jail cells two days prior to the attack, Letrondo found food inside the cell occupied by Graham.

Graham, who was housed alone in his cell 23 hours a day, was notified by Letrondo that he would lose his hour outside his cell as punishment for the rule violation, according to prosecutors.

In response, Graham swore at Letrondo, then threatened to beat and kill him — threats Letrondo documented in a written report, prosecutors said.

The next day, Letrondo and another officer were standing at the guard’s station when Graham rushed Letrondo from behind and punched him on the left side of his face and again in the head, causing Letrondo’s head to strike a window and knocking him unconscious, prosecutors said during trial.

As Letrondo lay on the floor, Graham stomped  him, prosecutors said.

When Letrondo regained consciousness, he had no memory of the attack. He has not worked as a jail guard since the beating, prosecutors said.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: assault, beating, corrections officer

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