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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man given credit for time served after original charge from alleged sword stabbing in West Central

Nov. 3, 2022 Updated Thu., Nov. 3, 2022 at 9:46 p.m.

A 45-year-old man initially charged with stabbing a man with a sword late last spring in West Central Spokane pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to credit for time served.

Thomas B. Torngren pleaded guilty to criminal mischief last week. The charge means Torngren, armed with a sword and acting with at least three people, used and threatened to use force against the victim, according to court documents.

Torngren said in a statement that prosecutors did not have sufficient facts to support the criminal mischief charge, but he believed a jury might convict him of the original charge, first-degree assault, if the case went to trial, so he accepted a plea agreement, documents said.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tony Hazel sentenced Torngren on Oct. 27 to nearly five months in jail, or the time he already served. The standard sentencing range was no incarceration time to up to one year in jail, according to court records.

The stabbing stemmed from an argument over a portable wireless speaker, according to court documents.

The victim told police Torngren, also known as “8-Ball,” accused the victim on June 8 of taking his speaker from the residence where they were both staying on Spofford Avenue, according to documents. The victim denied the allegation and said Torngren found his speaker and the dispute ended.

The next morning, Torngren again accused the victim of taking his speaker, documents said. The victim told police an argument started and Torngren threw a punch but the victim dodged it. The victim, an experienced fighter, started punching Torngren on the body and “beat him up pretty badly,” the victim told police.

The victim said he later apologized to Torngren, and another verbal argument started. The victim then fell asleep downstairs and awoke about three hours later to Torngren nudging him and saying, “I don’t forgive you,” according to court records.

Torngren then stabbed the victim one time with what the victim described as a 3-foot Katana sword, documents said. Hospital staff told police the victim had a lacerated liver.

Police and SWAT officers later responded to the Spofford address where they determined Torngren was armed and barricaded, documents said. Torngren exited a white travel trailer in the backyard and was arrested.

A detective said in court documents he found a “full length sword” with a black handle in the trailer Torngren left.

Torngren’s criminal history in Spokane County includes assault, theft, attempt to elude, harassment, burglary, robbery and several other charges, documents said.

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