Third inmate pleads guilty in attack on correctional officers

Advertisement

WALLA WALLA — A third Washington State Penitentiary inmate has been sentenced to additional time for assaulting three correctional officers in December.

Luis A. Rangel, 23, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Walla Walla County Superior Court to three counts of custodial assault.

Judge Scott Wolfram sentenced him to an additional year in prison. That is the top end of the nine- to 12-month term Rangel faced based on his criminal record and the state’s standard-range sentencing laws.

He will serve the time after he completes his present sentence for a Clark County murder in 2007. His earliest release date for that crime will be in 2025.

Like his co-defendants earlier, he was placed on a year of community custody, a form of probation, after his release and assessed a total of more than $14,000 in restitution and various court costs and fees.

Rangel is the third inmate to plead guilty to the custodial assault charges and be sentenced to additional time.

Each initially was charged with second-degree assault, prison riot and two counts of custodial assault before reaching plea agreements with the prosecution that reduced their cases.

Their sentences for the assaults on the officers varied based on the extent of their criminal histories.

Co-defendant Joshua S. Perez, 27, was ordered to serve five years.

Marco J. Rodriguez, 27, was sentenced to 15 months because he has fewer crimes on his record and faced a lower standard range.

Officials said Rangel came from behind officer Fred Edinger in the prison’s West Complex about 1:15 p.m. Dec. 11, used his fist to strike Edinger and pushed him into an officer’s station.

Within seconds, Rodriguez and Perez ran into the station and joined the assault.

Officers William A. Bermoy and Johnny Gonzalez tried to assist Edinger, but also were assaulted by the group of inmates.

Edinger suffered a concussion, and facial and head injuries in the unprovoked attack, officials said.

Gonzalez was treated for a severe fracture of facial bones and Bermoy injured his back when he was pushed or fell to the floor.

They were taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment.

The inmates involved were placed in segregation and the West Complex was on lockdown status for a time.

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

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in