SOUTH BEND — A houseguest who attacked his host with a knife last year will serve 15 years in prison.
Jonathan Daniel Smith, 32, formerly of Camas, was sentenced in Pacific County Superior Court on Oct. 14, after pleading guilty to second-degree assault and meth possesion.
“This was a difficult case for the victim, but he and his family were thankful and supportive of the resolution, and merely wanted to see justice done and receive closure to this year-long ordeal,” Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain said in a press release.
According to court records, Smith and his companion Carey Neighbor, 34, who is also known as Carrie Yaakola, were living in a tent in the Ilwaco area on Oct. 27, 2015, when they met a 49-year-old Auburn man as he was leaving the Long Beach Tavern. The three began talking, and Smith told the victim, whose identity has not been released, that he was a homeless veteran. The victim, who told police he felt sorry for the couple, invited Smith and Neighbor to stay the night in his Ocean Park beach cabin.
At the home, the trio drank beer and watched a movie at first, but things unexpectedly went awry when Smith decided to smoke marijuana. Smith’s version of events differs from the victim’s, but both agree Smith fashioned a makeshift pipe by using a knife to poke holes in a soda can. Smith kept the knife when he and the victim went outside to smoke the marijuana. Once outside, Smith suggested that Neighbor join them, and the victim went back inside to get her.
As the victim crouched down to wake Neighbor, Smith attacked the victim from behind, striking him several times with the knife and injuring his hand. The victim fought back by swinging at Smith, who later indicated that had the case gone to trial, he would have claimed he acted in self-defense, or defense of Neighbor. The victim eventually wrestled the knife away from Smith, who fled the home.
The injured man was transported by ambulance to the hospital, and Smith and Neighbor were apprehended later the same evening, when they were spotted on their bicycles near the Ocean Park beach approach. Smith was initially charged with first-degree assault. Neighbor was not arrested or charged at the time of the incident, but McClain has since charged her with rendering criminal assistance, a felony.