Kevin Newland, 25, serving a 45-year sentence at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center for a Spokane County murder, was fatally shot Wednesday morning during an escape attempt.
The prison at Clallam Bay, 66 miles West of Sequim, and the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla are the two highest-security prisons in the state. The Clallam Bay Corrections Center houses more than 800 medium-, close- and maximum-custody offenders.
According to the Department of Corrections, just after 10 a.m. an unarmed correctional officer in the industries area of the prison was taken hostage by Dominick Maldonado, 25, using a pair of scissors.
The officer’s partner was taking a 30-minute lunch break, leaving the man alone in his supervision of close to 100 inmates.
Newland took the officer’s key to gain access to a forklift, which he drove through the doors of the work area and into the first perimeter fence. After shouting and firing a warning shot, a correctional officer preparing to leave the prison compound to conduct firearms training fired a single, fatal shot at Newland, according to Prison Superintendent Ron Fraker.
Upon seeing Newland was shot, Maldonado surrendered.
The prison went on lockdown immediately, confining all offenders to their cells while the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol conducted an investigation. The prison quickly accounted for all offenders.
The officer taken hostage was treated for cuts to his hands, receiving stitches at the Forks hospital.
Inmate held Sequim grad hostage
Maldonado, a close-custody offender, is serving a 163-year sentence for numerous charges related to a 2005 shooting in Tacoma. He was convicted in 2007 of kidnapping, assault and attempted murder after injuring seven people and taking others hostage, including Sequim graduate Joe Hudson.
Hudson, at the time an assistant manager of a mall store, was one of four hostages during the ordeal.
In a 2007 Sequim Gazette interview, Hudson said he was working as a cashier when he and customers heard the first shots and screams. Moments later, Maldonado entered the store, firing shots into the ceiling and displays with an assault rifle and machine pistol, Hudson said.
Maldonado’s prison sentence began in November 2007 and he will not be eligible for release until April 2159. He could face criminal charges in Clallam County Superior Court in connection with the escape attempt.
‘Very sophisticated’ escape plan
During a press conference following the shooting, State Deputy Prison Director Don Pacholke said the escape plan was “very sophisticated” and appears to have been pre-planned.
Fraker said both inmates had food, water and medicine on their persons during the escape attempt.
Both Fraker and Pacholke said corrections officers responded to the escape attempt exactly as they should have. They also added inmate violence at the prison has decreased in recent years.
Fraker said the scissors used by Maldonado are routinely given to inmates such as him and Newland who work sewing uniforms.
Pacholke said the DOC will conduct an internal review of the incident to re-examine how tools are issued to inmates and see what they can improve.
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.