Man held at facility for sexually violent predator dies

He suffered a head injury during a fight Wednesday in the facility’s cafeteria.

  • By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press
  • Friday, January 4, 2019 4:40pm
  • Northwest

Associated Press

SEATTLE — A fight between two sexually violent predators being held at a special facility on McNeil Island ended with one man dead and the other in jail, officials said Friday.

Special Commitment Center resident Jerry Spicer, 63, suffered a head injury during a fight Wednesday in the facility’s cafeteria, Chris Wright with the Department of Social and Health Services said Friday in a press release.

Spicer was taken to the Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McCord and later died Thursday of his injuries, Wright said.

The other man involved in the fight, Gregory Coley Jr., was later arrested by the Washington State Patrol and taken to the Pierce County Jail, Wright said.

He was initially charged with felony assault, according to the jail’s booking information. The Pierce County Prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to messages asking whether the charges will change now that Spicer has died. It wasn’t immediately clear if Coley had an attorney.

The Special Commitment Center was established after the Washington Legislature passed the Community Protection Act in 1990 in response to several high-profile cases involving sexually violent predators.

After sex offenders complete their prison sentences, the state can ask the court to have them civilly committed to the facility to protect the community and provide them with mental health treatment.

Under Washington’s civil commitment law, prosecutors must demonstrate the offender still suffers from specific mental abnormalities and/or personality disorders that cause him to have difficulty controlling his behavior and make him likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence.

At present, the center houses 210 residents, Wright said.

Spicer had been sent to the facility in 2005 after a Grant County court determined he met the criteria of being a sexually violent predator.

Coley was convicted of first-degree child molestation in 1991 and was committed to the facility in 2002, according to the Attorney General’s office.

He petitioned for release in 2013 and his case went to trial in 2016, the AG’s office said.

In January 2016, a Skagit County jury determined that Coley was a dangerous predator and must remain confined on McNeil Island.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, a female resident orca whale breaches while swimming in Puget Sound near Bainbridge Island, Wash., as seen from a federally permitted research vessel. The National Marine Fisheries Service has finalized rules to expand the Southern Resident orca's critical habitat from the Canadian border down to Point Sur, Calif., adding 15,910 square miles, (41,207 square kilometers) of foraging areas, river mouths and migratory pathways. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Endangered southern resident orca numbers drop from 74 to 73

Since July 1, 2021, three whales died while two were born, officials said.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Floatplane wreckage recovery in Puget Sound begins

The U.S. Navy will use a remotely operated vehicle Deep Drone 8,000, a barge and a crane in recovery efforts.

News logo for use with stories about coronavirus COVID-19 COVID
COVID, monkeypox levels down

State says prevention efforts will continue.

News logo for use with stories about coronavirus COVID-19 COVID
State employees likely to get 1K bonuses for COVID booster

Under a tentative deal state employees would get $1,000 bonuses for receiving a COVID-19 booster shot.

FILE - Then-Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz addresses a news conference in Seattle, on Sept. 2, 2020. Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has named Diaz as his pick for permanent chief of the Seattle department. Harrell on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022,  announced his intent to appoint Diaz, who has served as interim police chief since 2020. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Seattle mayor appoints Adrian Diaz as city’s police chief

Diaz has served as interim police chief since September 2020.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Washington state.
Human remains wash ashore, possibly from floatplane crash

A female torso found near Sequim could be connected to a floatplane crash near Whidbey Island.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Seattle teachers approve new contract following strike

Teachers in Seattle have approved a new, three-year contract following a strike.

West Seattle Bridge reopened Saturday night

After 908 days without a high-rise bridge, the drivers and passengers of West Seattle regained seven road lanes.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Washington state.
Monkeypox cases declining in WA, outbreak trajectory unclear

The drop in infections statewide is directly linked to the drop in cases in King County.

Guillermo Carvajal, a member of the support staff at Northgate Elementary School in Seattle, and Erin Carroll, an occupational therapist there, picket outside the building on the third day of a strike by the Seattle Education Association on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. The union and Seattle Public Schools continued negotiating over issued that include pay and support for special needs students. It remained unclear how long the strike might last. (AP Photo/Gene Johnson)
Tentative deal reached to end Seattle teachers strike

Seattle Public Schools said late Monday it had reached a tentative agreement with the union for teachers.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Floatplane wreckage located in Mutiny Bay

Wreckage of a floatplane that crashed into Mutiny Bay last week has been located on the seafloor.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Body of Whidbey Island plane crash victim identified

A body found near the site of a floatplane crash in Mutiny Bay has been identified as 29-year-old Gabby Hanna.