Jury convicts man of stabbing officer

  • Jim Haley<br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 12:59pm

A man who told police that he didn’t want to go back to jail earned a one-way ticket to a long prison term for stabbing a police officer in the arm and fighting with two other cops.

A Snohomish County Superior Court jury on Friday, June 1, convicted Stephen Paul McClane, 35, of first-degree assault for the Dec. 3 attack on Mill Creek officer Andy Bass.

Bass suffered a gaping wound to his arm and still has nerve damage. He and two other Mill Creek officers testified this week in McClane’s trial. McClane also was convicted of two counts of third-degree assault for fighting with the other two officers.

Judge Ronald Castleberry is scheduled to sentence McClane on Thursday, June 7.

The sentencing range for McClane is between 13 and 17 years, deputy prosecutor John Adcock said.

McClane had been at his brother’s house on 132nd Street Southeast when he violated house rules by drinking beer. They argued and then the brother called police, intending to have McClane removed, according to testimony.

Police arrived and asked McClane to step outside. They simply intended for him to leave the home.

When Bass asked him to put his hands on top of head so he could be frisked for weapons, McClane pulled a kitchen paring knife from a pocket and lunged at Bass. Bass suffered the arm gash as well as a cut on the lip.

The three officers then had to wrestle McClane to the ground and subdued him with difficulty. Among other injuries, McClane suffered a broken shoulder bone in the melee.

While being treated in a hospital, McClane told a Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy that he had just gotten out of jail and didn’t want to go back. McClane also acknowledged to the deputy that he might have even killed Bass with the knife.

Public defender Anne Harper argued that McClane did not intend to kill the officer or inflict serious bodily harm, which is necessary for a first-degree assault conviction.

She told jurors that they should convict him of the lesser crime of second-degree assault on Bass.

A second-degree assault conviction would have meant only about four years in prison for McClane.

Adcock challenged that.

“This was a purposeful act by an angry defendant who wanted to inflict great bodily harm, if not kill, an officer,” Adcock told jurors.

Jim Haley is a reporter with The Herald of Everett.

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