A 44-year-old prisoner at the Washington State Penitentiary is recovering from critical injuries he received during a fight at the Walla Walla prison in January.
Troy Carpenter was assaulted by another prisoner in the commons area of the West Complex, which houses four gang units, said Shari Hall, prison spokeswoman.
Carpenter had been treated at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, but returned to the prison last week and is recovering in the Health Services building, she said. The 66-bed facility provides out-patient and in-patient medical and mental health treatment.
Carpenter's name was released this week, at the request of the Herald. Hall said security concerns while Carpenter was being treated prevented officials from releasing information about him earlier.
Hall said Carpenter was attacked by another gang member, 32-year-old Jason Williams. Williams is being housed in the Intensive Management Unit, which is a segregation unit.
Williams is serving time for robbery and assault convictions. He began his sentence in 2005 and his expected release date is 2035, but he could face additional time if charged and convicted of the assault.
Carpenter also is serving time on robbery and assault convictions. He has been in the Walla Walla prison since 2001 and has a release date in 2027.
The West Complex, which houses about 187 offenders in each of the four units, were locked down for all of February after another fight broke out Feb. 4, just days after Carpenter was attacked.
Two units are getting a little more freedom, but the Delta and Echo units went back to full lockdown status after a staff member was assaulted last week, Hall said. The officer didn't suffer serious injuries when a prisoner hit him with a food tray, she said.
All three assaults were isolated incidents, Hall said.
Investigators also were able to learn that staff members weren't the target in the February fight, she said. Four correctional officers were hurt and one was saved from a potentially fatal stab wound when the shiv was stopped by a notebook in his pocket.
"Although we had staff injured and assaulted during the second event, that wasn't the purpose," Hall said. "Everything indicates they were not the initial target. It was a fight among the offenders and when staff came in to respond, a couple of them took the opportunity" to attack the officers.
The fight broke out between four prisoners, but a total of six prisoners were put in segregation afterward. Four shanks made from small pieces of metal were recovered.