Randy Thomas, alias “the BLT,” was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for his role in what authorities say was an attempt to kill a man with bacon.
Thomas said other inmates at the Stevens County Jail dubbed him “the BLT” even though co-defendant Tracy Walter, 34, was responsible for the Feb. 1 assault on 39-year-old Jim Peterson.
Thomas, 35, and Walter were accused of tying Peterson between two trees near Loon Lake and putting bacon around him in the hope that wild animals would eat him alive. The incident happened after Walter allegedly pistol-whipped Peterson and attempted to shoot him.
But court documents say Peterson now credits Thomas with saving his life by convincing Walter not to shoot him.
Police reports indicate Thomas told Walter it was “divine intervention” that Walter’s .22-caliber revolver misfired when he shot at Peterson.
Thomas reportedly told Walter not to shoot again, and they proceeded to use the bacon they bought at a convenience store in preparation for the bizarre assault.
“He told me to play along with what he was doing, and he had the gun,” Thomas told The Spokesman-Review, adding that he feared Walter intended to assault him too.
After stringing bacon around the bloodied and hogtied Peterson, Walter and Thomas left in Peterson’s car, along with a 16-year-old girl who wasn’t charged. Prosecutors said Peterson could have died from exposure to 20-degree weather if not animal attacks.
Walter and Thomas both were charged with first-degree assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon. After Peterson corroborated Thomas’ account, prosecutor Jerry Wetle allowed Thomas to plead guilty last month to lesser charges of possessing methamphetamines and taking a motor vehicle without permission.
In addition to sentencing Thomas to a year in jail, Superior Court Judge Rebecca Baker ordered Thomas to pay $2,610 in fines and fees.
Thomas agreed to testify against Walter, who is scheduled for trial on June 23. Baker is expected to rule later this month on whether that trial will include drug and weapon charges from a Jan. 16 arrest that authorities believe motivated the attack on Peterson.
Court documents say Walter saw Peterson drive by at the time of the arrest and mistakenly believed Peterson set him up.
A Kettle Falls police officer arrested Walter for being a felon in possession of a firearm after stopping him for driving without a license. A charge of possessing methamphetamine was added after a substance seized from Walter was analyzed, but Judge Baker still must decide whether the drugs were improperly seized without a warrant.