Arrow-right Camera


Veteran gets prison time for attack on VA nurses

An Army veteran who permanently injured two Veterans Affairs nurses during a 2009 attack was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in federal prison.

James P. Scott, 43, apologized to the two nurses, saying he could not remember that night. Medical personnel later determined that Scott’s blood alcohol content was .38 percent, or nearly five times the legal limit.

Scott, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, injured two male nurses as they attempted to treat Scott on Aug. 19, 2009, at Spokane Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Both men testified about permanent injuries they sustained from the attack.

Although prosecutors offered Scott a plea bargain of time served, he took the case to trial, where a jury in January convicted him as charged.

“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.

Click here to comment on this story »