Guilty plea entered to lesser charge in Joyce knife assault

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — A Joyce man will serve no additional time in jail after pleading guilty to a lesser assault charge in a knife attack against his roommate in December.

Shannon Lance Birkland, 59, pleaded guilty March 24 to one count of third-degree assault-criminal negligence and substantial pain.

Birkland had originally been charged with and pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault with a deadly weapon after an attack on his roommate, Alfred Keys, 62, on Dec. 10.

Clallam County sheriff’s deputies said the knife attack happened in the home the men shared along state Highway 112 west of Joyce, near Cannon Ball Road.

That charge was removed as part of the plea deal, according to Clallam County Superior Court records.

Superior Court Judge George Wood on March 24 sentenced Birkland to 90 days in jail with credit for time served following a recommendation from the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Birkland was released after having been in jail since he was arrested Dec. 10.

According to law enforcement accounts, deputies and Lower Elwha Klallam tribal police came to the home the men shared at about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 after a 9-1-1 emergency call about a fight in which one man had been stabbed.

When law enforcement arrived, officers found Keys down on the floor of the home’s dining room bleeding from several knife wounds, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Keys was treated and discharged from Olympic Medical Center.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at

Last modified: April 06. 2014 6:32PM
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