By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – A rural Chehalis resident who hoped for a lighter sentence following an appeal for an assault almost three years ago was told by a judge yesterday he’s going to prison.
Cole T. Rife was convicted by a jury in Lewis County Superior Court in August 2014 of second-degree assault and attempted first-degree burglary.
The case involved Rife and an acquaintance’s actions at a party at the 500 block of East Maple Street in Centralia in which a 19-year-old Centralia resident was struck numerous times as well as kicked in the face while he was on the ground, according to court documents.
A witness told police Rife, then 18, had come to the gathering and was trying to pick a fight with anyone who would fight him and turned his attention to 19-year-old Logan Crump, according to court documents.
The victim’s jaw was broken ending his college baseball career, Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey said.
Rife was arrested in mid-April 2014, about a month after the incident. When he was sentenced that summer to 19 and one half months, his lawyer filed an appeal and he was allowed to remain free pending the results.
His attorney Sam Groberg appealed to Brosey yesterday to take into account his client’s young age at the time of the offense and lack of criminal history.
“He’s been out of trouble, he’s bettered himself,” Groberg said. “He’s done what he should do.”
He suggested that spending months in the Lewis County Jail for someone who has never been in trouble before would be sufficient punishment.
“I hope Mr. Rife has learned from this incident,” Groberg said. “I think he has; it’s a life-changing incident.”
Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor asked the judge to give Rife the same sentence he was given before his appeal.
Judge Brosey sided with the prosecutor.
The judge said he didn’t believe there were any mitigating factors the first time and he feels the same way now.
“I decline to consider a sentence below the standard range,” Brosey said. “Me and the court of appeals could debate, but we’re not going to.”
A (just out of) high school kid had no business being at a Centralia College party, Brosey said. And the victim was someone who just happened to arrive to pick someone up, he said.
Brosey ordered exactly the same sentence he ordered on August 27, 2014.
Besides the prison time, Rife, now 21, was ordered to undergo evaluations for anger management and alcohol, and follow the recommendations. He will be under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections for three years after his release.
The judge didn’t order Rife into custody, but told him report no later than 3 p.m. next Thursday.
For background, read “News brief: Chehalis resident locked up briefly for assault of baseball player” from Wednesday Aug. 27, 2014, here