Transient man sentenced in attack

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A transient man convicted of threatening and assaulting a man in June was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.

Gerald L. Cameron, 41, was found guilty earlier this month after a Clark County Superior Court jury trial of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, and felony harassment-death threats.

He initially faced a charge of first-degree assault and a lesser-included charge of second-degree assault. All of the assault charges came with a deadly weapon enhancement. However, the jury found Cameron was not guilty of the more serious assaults and also determined he did not use a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime.

The assault occurred near state Highway 14 and Southeast Columbia House Boulevard, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Cameron was accused of striking Gary J. Sommerville several times with a steel bar used to lift weights, hitting him in the head, arms and torso. The victim reported having numerous cuts and a gash to his head, as well as a concussion, the affidavit said.

Cameron’s defense attorney, Todd Pascoe, argued that it was self-defense and that the victim instigated the fight and swung at Cameron first.

The fight reportedly started over a love triangle, the attorneys said.

Judge Daniel Stahnke sentenced Cameron to 60 months total. He will receive credit for 218 days in custody. Cameron would have faced 22 to 28 years in prison if he had been convicted of the first-degree assault charge, according to Pascoe.