Hatchet assault suspect sentenced to over 4 years in prison

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Nunez Diaz

SOAP LAKE — A man who assaulted a person with a hatchet in the Lakeview community in early August will be spending over four years in prison.

Yoban Nunez Diaz, 28, pleaded guilty in Grant County Superior Court to second-degree assault (deadly weapon) and was sentenced to a total of 53 months in prison.

The sentence relates to an Aug. 7 incident when the Grant County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an assault involving a hatchet in the 140 block of Adrian Avenue, in the Lakeview community near Soap Lake, and the victim had been taken to Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata for treatment. The victim told investigators he was in a room at the Adrian Avenue residence when Nunez Diaz struck him repeatedly with a hatchet head. The victim received eight stitches to his head and had several cuts on his arms that were treated at the hospital.

Investigators were able to gather statements from several witnesses who were in the residence at the time of the assault. Court records indicate the assault was random and witnesses reported they were hanging out in a room with the victim and Nunez Diaz when the suspect got up and started hitting the victim with the hatchet. Police learned Nunez Diaz frequently hangs out at a residence in the 200 block of Ephrata Avenue and responded to that location. Deputies took a man with warrants out for his arrest into custody at the residence, but they did not immediately locate Nunez Diaz.

A woman at the residence initially stated Nunez Diaz was at the location at one time, but she said she wasn’t sure if he was still there. The woman allowed deputies to search a shed at the property, but Nunez Diaz wasn’t found and she later stated he was in a bathroom at the residence. K-9 Grizzly was later sent into the residence after Nunez Diaz refused to leave.

“K-9 Grizzly was deployed and made contact with Yoban. Yoban was eventually taken into custody and escorted outside. Medical services were called to the scene for Yoban. Yoban was transported to Samaritan Hospital for evaluation,” wrote a deputy.

Court documents do not provide a clear motive for the attack.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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