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Clallam Bay inmate charged in guard stabbing

— A Clallam Bay Corrections Center inmate pleaded not guilty today to charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office, accusing him of repeatedly stabbing a corrections officer with a 4- to 5-inch metal shank.

The Attorney General’s Office charged inmate Carlos Avalos with one count of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon enhancement in Clallam County Superior Court on April 22.

The state alleges Avalos approached a corrections officer from behind while the officer was working on a computer in a “staff only” section at the prison then stabbed him repeatedly in the neck. The officer immediately activated his body alarm.

The state alleges Avalos continued to attack and slash the officer until another officer discharged a canister of pepper spray on Avalos, causing him to cease the attack, court documents show. The other officer also called for assistance and was then able to handcuff Avalos until other officers arrived and the area was secured.

According to the state’s court filings, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office found the 4- to 5-inch shank in the hallway with blood on it. The state’s charging documents allege the shank came from a piece of metal removed from a heating vent in a cell, which was then sharpened to a point.

The injured corrections officer suffered numerous cuts to his face, head, neck, hands and torso, including a long gash on his face adjacent to his right eye and a cut on his throat. He was taken to Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles by ambulance.

He is recovering from his injuries, officials said.

According to the state’s charging documents, the injured officer said he had never interacted with Avalos and the attack was unprovoked.

Avalos is currently serving a 10-year exceptional sentence imposed in 2012 for attacking a counselor at a juvenile correctional facility with a shank. He is not scheduled for release until at least 2022.

Assistant Attorney General John Hillman is prosecuting the case at the request of the Clallam County. A Clallam County Superior Court judge set a trial date of August 11.

“Our state’s corrections officers serve a vital public safety role,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “While we are relieved the officer is recovering from this attack, we look forward to bringing Mr. Avalos to justice.”

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