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Third strike sticks in 1999 Clark County case

first_imgComplete Clark County data on the number of inmates serving life sentences with “strike” convictions for second-degree robbery were unavailable Tuesday.However, John Douglas Letellier, 67, who’s featured in the Associated Press’ story, was convicted of second-degree robbery — his third strike — in Clark County. Court records show Letellier pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 1999 by then-Judge Barbara Johnson for robbing a Subway restaurant on May 21 of that year.Letellier, who was homeless at the time, said he held up the shop to purposely receive a third strike, because he felt more comfortable in prison, according to Columbian archives. Letellier later wrote a letter to The Columbian saying he no longer held that “fatalistic” attitude.“The crime itself was the epitome of idiotic, senseless stupidity, and I can only emphasize at this belated juncture sorrow and remorse for my inexplicable behavior,” he wrote to The Columbian.Letellier is one of 62 inmates with “strikes” for second-degree robbery who will continue serving life sentences, despite the crime being removed from the state’s list of three-strike crimes. An amendment pushed by the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys made it nonretroactive.As of June 2008, the most recent statistical data available online, there were at least 10 inmates from Clark County, including Letellier, serving persistent offender sentences with second-degree robbery strikes. (The data were compiled by the Sentencing Guidelines Commission but are now overseen by the Caseload Forecast Council.) One inmate has since died, and the status of another was unclear.The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is in the process of gathering data on how many of the affected inmates received second-degree robbery strikes locally.last_img read more