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Originally published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM

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Prison inmate convicted of assaulting cellmates

A jury in Spokane has convicted a state prison inmate accused of blinding a cellmate and beating another cellmate in a gruesome attack in 2010 at Airway Heights Corrections Center.

The Associated Press

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SPOKANE, Wash. —

A jury in Spokane has convicted a state prison inmate accused of blinding a cellmate and beating another cellmate in a gruesome attack in 2010 at Airway Heights Corrections Center.

The jury deliberated for just a few hours Tuesday before finding Michael West Jr. guilty of first- and second degree assault.

Defense attorney Derek Reid had argued that West should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

The 36-year-old was earlier convicted of murder for killing a cellmate in 2004 in the Spokane County Jail.

The Spokesman-Review reports (http://goo.gl/r3TNo) that the state Department of Corrections is facing a civil suit filed on behalf of the cellmate blinded in the 2010 attack, after prison officials agreed to transfer West from the maximum security prison in Walla Walla to the medium security prison in Airway Heights.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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