January 9, 1995 in Nation/World

Prisoner Stabs Wife; Officer Shoots Inmate

From Staff And Wire Reports

A Clallam Bay Prison officer shot an inmate who was stabbing his wife with a kitchen knife during a conjugal visit, officials say.

Todd E. Hiivala, 29, a convicted murderer, and his wife, Heather, were treated at Forks (Wash.) Community Hospital after Saturday night’s attack and shooting outside a conjugal-visit trailer. Both were transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Hiivala, who was shot once in the right shoulder, was in stable condition, prison spokeswoman Patricia Woolcock said Sunday. His wife, who was stabbed in the arms, neck and face, was in serious condition.

Clallam County sheriff’s investigators and prison officials gave this account:

Heather Hiivala ran out of the trailer about 9:45 p.m., screaming that her husband was trying to kill her. She had been stabbed with a 10-inch kitchen knife.

A prison officer in a tower overlooking the trailer fired several warning shots and ordered Hiivala to move away from his wife. When Hiivala refused, the officer shot him once in the right shoulder, knocking him to the ground.Corrections officers arrived and restrained the man.

The inmate and his wife then were transported separately to the hospital.

Woolcock said Hiivala, imprisoned since 1991, was serving consecutive sentences for convictions in Clark County of one count of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder. He was due to be released in 2049.

Hiivala qualified for what the state Department of Corrections calls “extended family visits.”

The conjugal-visit trailers are equipped with cooking knives, one of which was used in the assault, Woolcock said. Prison officials will review the policy of having knives available, she said.

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