A man convicted of brutally murdering two people in 2008 put the Washington State Penitentiary on lockdown Tuesday morning after allegedly assaulting another inmate with a "sharpened weapon."
The Washington State Penitentiary says the assault happened Tuesday morning in a common area of D Unit. Officials did not specify what exactly happened, but did say one inmate received "stab wounds" and a "sharpened weapon" was recovered. Officials also said Justin Crenshaw, the man convicted of killing Tanner Pehl and Sarah Clark in 2008, was placed in the prison's segregation unit while law enforcement and prison staff investigated the incident.
Prison officials would not comment any further, however one Spokane woman told KHQ on Tuesday that the man Crenshaw assaulted was her fiance. The woman, who only wanted to be identified as "Angie" said she was on the phone with her fiance, Justin Hoyt, when Justin Crenshaw came up behind Hoyt and tried to slit his throat. Angie said she heard the phone drop and heard her fiance struggling on the other end as Crenshaw attacked him. Prison officers were able to step in and break up the assault, but Angie said her fiance suffered 6 stab wounds to his neck, cuts all around his face, a broken nose and a broken cheek bone. Angie said after speaking with her fiance later in the day, she thinks Crenshaw was trying to decapitate her fiance.
Angie told KHQ police said they will be seeking attempted murder charges against Crenshaw, but police have not yet confirmed that with KHQ.
Crenshaw was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Clark and Pehl back in 2010. The bodies of Clark and Pehl were found in a fire damaged home in late February of 2008. The trial of Justin Crenshaw was delayed several times. He was convicted of two counts of aggravated first degree murder on July 27, 2010 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Crenshaw's attorney at the time, Chris Bugbee, conceded during trial that his client killed Pehl and Clark, but Bugbee argued Crenshaw suffers from an alcohol disorder that makes him a violent person when he drinks.