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Convicted burglar gets eight more months for felony assault

February 15, 2014 · Updated 10:57 AM

The prosecution had four months in mind. The judge gave him eight instead.

A San Juan Island man had eight more months added to a 15-month prison term for a brutal attack on the mother of his children at their Friday Harbor home in mid-November – the same day that the man had been sentenced for felony burglary.

On Feb. 5, Taiya Autumn Speed, 24, pleaded guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to one count of third-degree assault, a Class C felony. He was ordered by Judge Don Eaton to serve eight months in prison at the conclusion of a 15-month prison term that had previously been imposed for a first-degree burglary conviction. He was also ordered to pay $950 in fines and fees.

On Nov. 19, Speed and an accomplice, 26-year-old Travis James Webster, also known as Travis White, were both ordered to serve 15 months in prison after each pleaded guilty in mid-October to felony burglary. The two were convicted of muscling their way into the Friday Harbor apartment in mid-July in pursuit of prescription medication, where, according to court documents, they became involved in an altercation with the couple that live there.

Speed and Webster were recognized by the couple when the masks the two men wore at the time of the break-in came off in the ensuing struggle.

According to court documents, an argument between Speed and the 24-year-old woman with whom he shared a Grover Street home erupted into an altercation in the evening of the day of his sentencing for the burglary offense. He reportedly attacked, threatened and strangled the woman in a fit of rage and, after she escaped out the front door, he fled out the back when a neighbor, drawn to the home by a series of unusually alarming sounds, came to investigate.

Although she had earlier been granted a protection order against Speed, the woman reportedly allowed him to move back into her home. Their two young children were asleep in an upstair bedroom at the time of the altercation. The woman's face reportedly was swollen, battered and bruised, and her neck covered with scratches and cuts, as a result of the attack.

A Class C felony, third-degree assault carries maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing set by the state, as applied to Speed, given his criminal record, is 3-8 months in prison.


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