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West gets 50 years for eye gouging case

Corrections officers lead Michael West into court Tuesday. (Dan Pelle)
Corrections officers lead Michael West into court Tuesday. (Dan Pelle)

Convicted killer not eligible for release until 2098

A judge today gave convicted killer Michael L. West Jr. another 50 years in prison after he gouged out the eyes of a fellow prison inmate.

A jury convicted West of first-degree assault in the Oct. 10, 2010 attack in the Airway Heights Corrections Center.

Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen made the sentence consecutive to West’s existing sentence, meaning he won’t be eligible for parole until 2098, when he would be 121 years old. West previously was convicted of killing a fellow inmate in 2004.

Eitzen also ordered more than $70,000 in restitution, which mostly likely will never be repaid, to cover the medical bills of Chad E. Bolstad, who was permanently blinded in the attack.

Defense attorney Derek Reid unsuccessfully argued that West should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity. He also previously said the latest trial was a waste of taxpayer money because West likely would not have been paroled for previous convictions of murder and rape.

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