Man sentenced to more than nine years in Walla Walla stabbing

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WALLA WALLA — A man who stabbed a person about 15 times in a fight last March on West Sumach Street was sentenced Thursday to nine-and-a-half years in prison.

The term handed to Brian Lamprea, 20, is below the standard range he faced, but was recommended by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden in a plea agreement.

Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Scott Wolfram gave Lamprea credit for the 67 days he’d served in the County Jail and placed him on three years of community custody, a form of probation, when he’s released.

The total standard range for Lamprea, based on his criminal history, was calculated at about 13 to 16 years. But he agreed to plead guilty May 9 to first-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon with the understanding Golden would recommend nine-and-a-half years.

Golden explained in an interview that the sentence includes a two-year enhancement, meaning Lamprea will serve that amount of time first with no opportunity for good-time credit.

In addition, Golden said, Lamprea’s guilty plea assured his conviction and spared witnesses from testifying. Lamprea had intended to claim self-defense in the stabbing of Felix Marquez had the case gone to trial.

“I’m not the one that caused this problem,” Lamprea told Wolfram on Thursday before the judge imposed the sentence. “I tried to avoid this whole situation and then it escalated from there.”

Golden responded, “I’m not buying the self-defense defense for a moment. It’s ridiculous.” However, he added he believes the plea agreement is a fair resolution of the case.

Walla Walla police detective Saul Reyna outlined for Wolfram a string of assaults with weapons that Lamprea — reportedly a local gang member — has committed since September 2011. “I’ve watched (him) going from bad to worse,” Reyna said, emphasizing he didn’t intend either to dispute or support Golden’s recommendation.

But Lamprea’s attorney, Jerry Makus, adamantly told the judge he can’t consider the past cases when sentencing Lamprea on this offense.

In the end, Wolfram agreed to go along with the nine-and-a-half year recommendation because of Lamprea’s young age and the deadly weapon enhancement he would serve.

The March 8 stabbing was not gang-related, officials have said.

Lamprea went to a residence in the 200 block of West Sumach about 6:15 p.m. that day and began to fight with Marquez.

Lamprea stabbed Marquez multiple times in the abdomen and back, then swung the knife about 3 feet from two witnesses who had chased him as he tried to escape, according to a police report filed in court.

Officials said Lamprea then ran into a stranger’s house in the 100 block of North Fifth Avenue, but was pulled out by one of the witnesses and held until police took him into custody.

Marquez was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment.

Lamprea also initially was charged with two counts of second-degree assault for swinging the knife at the witnesses. But those charges were dismissed.

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