Nearly 2 years in throat slashing case

The man accused of a July 31 throat slashing in Ocean Shores has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to nearly two years in prison.

James Lemar Griffin was sentenced Monday in Grays Harbor Superior Court to 22 months for third-degree assault. That’s the top of the standard sentencing range of 17-22 months for the charge given his criminal history. His charge was reduced by the plea from first-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

He’s convicted of attacking his then-neighbor, Jose Moises Segovia-Barrera, spraying him in the face with pepper spray and cutting his throat, arms and back with a knife.

Griffin was arrested in Los Angeles Sept. 14, but Grays Harbor County declined to extradite him because of problems with the case.

Segovia-Barrera, 31, is currently awaiting trial on a first-degree child molestation charge. Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kraig Newman said at the time Segovia-Barrera would likely be deported to his native El Salvador.

Griffin was arrested locally and booked into Grays Harbor County Jail Oct. 19.

Police suspect Griffin attacked Segovia-Barrera as retribution for the alleged child molestation. According to a witness statement, before the alleged assault Griffin “pounded his fist into his palm and said, ‘That (expletive) is going to suffer before he is deported.’ ”

In a letter to the court, Segovia-Barrera expressed disappointment that Griffin was allowed to plead to a reduced charge and urged the court to sentence him to as much prison time as possible.

“I was almost killed by the savagery Mr. Griffin unleashed upon me,” he wrote.

Segovia-Barrera underwent surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but noted in his letter he continued to suffer “physically and psychologically.”

The sentence was agreed upon by both the prosecution and defense.

Segovia-Barrera is held in Grays Harbor County Jail on $100,000 bail.