Inmates plead innocent in Washington State Penitentiary assault

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WALLA WALLA — Two Washington State Penitentiary inmates pleaded innocent Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court to repeatedly stabbing a fellow prisoner last year.

Eric L. Lowe, 25, and Wilbur T. Weeks, 44, are set for trial June 20 and 21 for first-degree assault and malicious harassment.

Officials claim Lowe and Weeks used weapons fashioned from a broken radio handle to stab inmate Gary R. Bau while they were in the small yard of a housing unit at the prison on July 29.

Bau reportedly was attacked from behind as he was sitting at a table playing cards.

Weeks hit Bau on the head numerous times, then Lowe joined in the assault, according to a police report filed in court.

Bau suffered cuts and bruises on his head and body, in addition to eye damage, officials said. He was treated at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, then transferred to the prison hospital.

Authorities reportedly found a radio that was missing its handle in Lowe’s cell.

“The attack against Bau by Weeks and Lowe was motivated by hate,” partly because Bau is a practicing Muslim, the police report says.

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