Prosecutors charge inmate for assaulting correction officers at Kent's Regional Justice Center
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
April 4, 2011 · 4:42 PM
King County prosecutors have charged a 32-year-old inmate with one count of first-degree assault and four counts of third-degree assault for when he allegedly fought five county corrections officers in January at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
The inmate allegedly knocked one of the officers unconscious during the fight and then stomped on the man.
Sean L. Graham, who was in custody to face a 2009 first-degree robbery charge, has since been transferred to the county's high-security facility in downtown Seattle. Graham remains in custody with bail set at $550,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned April 11 in Seattle.
According to charging papers filed March 29, Graham reportedly was upset at an officer for not allowing him his hour out of the cell Jan. 10 after the inmate had threatened the officer and called him names.
That officer on Jan. 11 entered a unit to relieve another guard. Graham also was in the unit taking a shower. When the two officers were talking, Graham quickly approached one of the officers and punched him in the face. The inmate and two guards separated briefly before Graham charged the initial officer again, punched him in the face and knocked him into a wall.
The officer fell backwards, hit his head on a metal-framed window and was knocked unconscious.
Graham then allegedly continued to go after the same officer who had fallen unconscious and stomped on the officer's body at least three times in the body, neck and spine.
Paramedics transported that officer to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he remained for two days to be treated for a variety of injuries to his body, including a blood clot inside his skull.
One officer told investigators that he believes Graham had planned the attack and if given the chance would have killed the officer.
Four other officers also were injured when they came to the aid of the fallen officer. One of the officers was treated at Valley Medical Center in Renton for cuts to his face and neck and a hand injury.
Three other officers also sustained injuries to either their hands or legs when Graham refused orders to stop fighting and continued to resist the guards.
When officers later searched Graham's cell, they discovered a letter Graham wrote Jan. 5 to his mother that read in part, "I've been insanely angry for the past few weeks. Very very ready to kill them Doctors, Lawyers, Guards and every inmate in my sight. Truly I can relate to a wild animal."
All of the correction officers have worked between four to 10 years at the jail. Several missed work because of their injuries.
The entire incident lasted less than 5 minutes, according to Cmdr. Williams Hayes, spokesman for the RJC jail.
The county jail at the RJC averages about 700 to 725 inmates per day but can hold up to 1,340 inmates.
According to charging papers, Graham has prior convictions for second-degree arson (2006), third-degree assault (1997 and 1998) and felony harassment (1998). He also has misdemeanor convictions for harassment and fourth-degree assault between 2004 and 2007. Graham has a long history of mental illness and has been committed to Western State Hospital in Tacoma and Fairfax Hospital in Kirkland at least five times since 2006.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.