Chelan County Jail Director Speaks Out On Violent Prisoner Attack
The director of the Chelan Couty Jail is speaking out on the violent attack by prisoners that injured a corrections officer earlier this month.
Jail Director Chris Sharp says he's never seen such an extremely violent attack in the 24 years he's worked at the facility.
"We've never seen this level of an attack," said Sharp. "We've had officer assaults over the years. I've been assaulted as an officer working the floors, but never to the level of the calculation that this was."
Sharp made the comment while appearing on the Chelan County Connection webcast, where he also said the confrontation was a shocking experience for his staff.
“For us it was very eye opening to a lot of people, as I have 27 staff members that have three years or less working in corrections.” Sharp said. “So, it was probably the first time they saw one of their individual fellow co-workers being carried out on a stretcher.”
The attack left Corrections Officer Jesus Oliveras with a red nose and face, along with lacerations to his ear, neck, head and right hand.
He was hauled out on a stretcher and taken to Central Washington Hospital, where he was treated and released.
The two accused prisoners, 28-year-old Javier Valdez and 23-year-old Benito Licea each face charges of Attempted Murder 1st Degree, Assault in the 1st Degree, Prison Riot, and Weapon Possession by a Prisoner.
Both prisoners have a $2 million bond, and both are set to be arraigned Monday at 9:30am in Chelan County Superior Court.
Valdez has already pleaded not guilty and is demanding a jury trial.
Wenatchee Police detectives who investigated the attack say it was obvious that Licea and Valdez planned their attack. They say both were armed with "shank" style weapons.
The detectives indicated they think the attack may have been a retaliation after Corrections Officer Oliveras cited an infraction against Licea for "intentional failure to immediately lock down in a segregation unit when instructed by a staff member" back on April 27.
Licea and Valdez were jailed on murder charges in separate cases.
David Lomeli-Vazquez was gunned down April 18th, 2022, in the 800 block of Methow Street. The incident led to a police chase and eventual crash in East Wenatchee where Licea and Andrew Francis Morrow were captured and arrested.
Valdez is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the August 2022 gang-related shooting of 18-year-old Yair Flores. Police say Valdez was not the gunman but took no action and stood by while the shooting occurred.