A former inmate at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center has pleaded innocent to breaking the eye socket of a fellow prisoner and causing partial paralysis to the man's face after beating him in prison.
The alleged attack by Tucker J. Harrington was in January 2010, but the 29-year-old Aberdeen man had his first appearance in the case this week in Franklin County Superior Court.
The charge was filed March 2, but in late May -- after learning Harrington was in custody at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton -- Franklin County prosecutors filed paperwork to transfer him for the new charge.
Harrington is charged with first-degree assault. His trial is set for Aug. 1.
Court documents show he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted with a "most serious offense" finding.
The assault was Jan. 6, 2010, but Connell police weren't notified of it for two days, according to an officer's report filed with court documents.
The Connell officer met with state Investigating Officer Jeff Kinne, who said he believed the beating was planned so that Harrington could earn his tattoos, which is a type of gang ritual, the report said.
Harrington recently got tattoos of a Nazi swastika and a cross with the words "White Pride" on his chest, and a white supremacist gang will allow a person to get inked and then "work" to earn it, Kinne and a corrections officer reported to Connell police.
If they fail to do as they are told, the tattoo reportedly will be cut off.
Kinne said he believed the victim, Mason R. Carroll, was attacked because he had a "hit" on him, court documents stated.
Carroll, now 32, is at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. The most severe of his injuries after the assault include the broken right eye socket and the face paralysis, and he was expected to undergo several reconstructive surgeries.
Harrington told Connell police the fight had nothing to do with earning his tattoos. He claimed to be standing in line when Carroll called him a punk and explained he had to do something about it or he would forever be treated like someone who couldn't handle himself.
Harrington told the officer he "only swung three to four times" and said he didn't intend to break any bones. He added that he hit Carroll every time he swung, documents stated.
In February 2010, Carroll reportedly said he thought there was a "hit" on him because at one point while in prison he did not do what an Aryan gang told him to do, said court documents.
He said someone once tried to slit his throat.
Carroll claimed that after being released from segregation following his transfer, he was placed in what was described as a safe area of the prison campus but he ended up being assaulted while making a call to a friend, documents stated.
Harrington's bail has been set at $10,000, just in case his current Department of Corrections sentence ends while this case still is pending.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; firstname.lastname@example.org