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Sirens & Gavels

Veteran in VA nurse assault gets 3 years

An Army veteran will spend just over three years in prison for permanently injuring to two Veterans Affairs nurses during a 2009 attack.

James P. Scott, 43, apologized to the two nurses at his sentencing in U.S. District Court Thursday, saying he could not remember anything. Medical personnel say Scott’s blood alcohol content was .38 percent, or nearly five times the legal limit.

Scott, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, injured the men as they attempted to treat him on Aug. 19, 2009, at Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Although prosecutors offered Scott a plea bargain of time served, he took the case to trial in January, where a jury convicted him as charged. Both men testified about permanent injuries they sustained from the attack.

“I’m sorry,” said Scott, who was honorably discharged from the Army in 2000 after nearly 12 years of service. “Because I gave up, you got hurt. I can’t take that away.”

U.S. District Judge Edward Shea sentenced Scott to 40 months in prison even though the standard range of the offense was between 57 and 71 months.

“It is a terrible tragedy that two men serving the Veterans Administration suffered … these permanent and lifelong injuries while treating a veteran,” Shea said.
  


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