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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: cellmates

Alleged child molester assaulted in cell

A convicted robber jailed on federal gun charges is accused of assaulting an alleged child molester at the federal courthouse.

James D. Bacon, 23, (pictured) is charged with misdemeanor assault for punching Darrel W. Monzingo, 44, as the men shared a holding cell at the Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse on March 10.

Another defendant in the cell, Fabian Vaksman, said Bacon punched Monzingo after Monzingo refused to discuss his charges, which include two counts of production of child pornography.

Bacon “made statements to the effect that he hated sex offenders,” Vaksman told U.S. Marshals. Vaksman also noted blood on Monzingo's face; Marshals say his lower lip was split.

Bacon and Monzingo were Spokane County Jail inmates but were at the courthouse for hearings before U.S. District Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen.

Monzingo, whose trial is scheduled in September, faces up to 30 years in prison after Spokane police found child pornography during a search of his home at 3403 E. Fairview Ave. on Dec. 16.

Bacon pleaded guilty March 10 to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced in June. The new assault charge, filed today, carries a maximum six months incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.

Bacon, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2004, was wanted for a felony drug violation and Department of Corrections warrant when he ran from police near Wellesley Avenue and Regal Street on Dec. 7. Police arrested him in a struggle, then realized he was armed with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

Cellmate loses eye in fight w/ killer

A violent inmate who tortured and killed his cellmate at the Spokane County Jail six years ago, resulting in a $180,000 settlement by the county, is suspected of gouging out another cellmate’s eye at Airway Heights Corrections Center this week. 

Michael L. West, 34, (right) attacked Chad E. Bolstad, 25, (left) in a cell the men shared with another inmate Sunday night, officials confirmed Wednesday. 

“(Bolstad’s) left eye was gouged out at the socket and the right eye was damaged to the point where it appears he’s going to lose sight, too,” said Airway Heights Police Chief Lee Bennett. “It was pretty graphic. He was using his bare hands.”

West threatened to attack the third cellmate, Gary L. Welch (right), telling Welch “about how he’s Lucifer and he wants him to bow to him,” Bennett said. 

Welch pressed a panic button to notify prison staff, and West attacked him, according to police. Prison guards arrived to find West trying to strangle Welch with a towel, Bennett said. Bolstad’s left eye was hanging out of its socket.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 19, 2007: County to pay $180,000 in inmate’s murder

July 27, 2005: Man gets 46 years for rape, jail killing

Oct. 15, 2004: Homicide witness say he tried to warn jailers

Oct. 14, 2004: Man strangled in jail feared for his life

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