Inmate sentenced in officer's stabbing

Marcus Van Cleary will serve an additional five years for his attack on an officer last year.

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WALLA WALLA -- A Washington State Penitentiary inmate was sentenced Monday afternoon to an additional five years in prison for stabbing a correctional officer with a ballpoint pen last March.

Marcus Van Cleary, 29, was ordered to serve the high end of the 51- to 60-month standard-range term he faced.

In handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht went along with a prosecution recommendation. "I think that's an appropriate sentence under the circumstances," Schacht said.

Schacht placed Cleary on a year of community custody, a form of probation, after he's released. Cleary also was ordered to pay $6,500 in costs and fees, including $4,600 in restitution for the injuries he caused.

He has been incarcerated at the penitentiary since October 2010 after having been convicted of multiple counts of second-degree assault in Pierce County. He was scheduled for release in 2016.

Cleary pleaded guilty Jan. 30 to custodial assault, which was reduced from an initial charge of second-degree assault.

He stabbed Officer Jim Nored in the face about 6:45 p.m. March 1 in an officer station at one of the prison's mental health units.

A police report filed in court says Nored's puncture wounds were minor, but he also suffered a dislocated shoulder in the unprovoked attack. He was treated and released from Walla Walla General Hospital, officials said.

Two other correctional officers and an inmate who intervened to help Nored also were injured.

The unit and two others were placed on restricted movement after the assault and Cleary was placed in segregation.

Cleary reportedly told investigators he had left his cell to obtain ice and was hearing voices in his head. In the interview, "He mentioned something about schizophrenia and then said he 'snapped,'" the police report says.

But James Craver, the inmate who assisted Nored, told officials Cleary knew what he was doing and is not "crazy."

A subsequent evaluation by experts from Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake determined Cleary is mentally competent.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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