A Vancouver man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for stabbing four people in December after losing money at a La Center cardroom.
Scott Robert Harmier, 41, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to first-degree assault and three counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He was originally charged with four counts of first-degree assault and once count of attempting to elude police.
Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Ryan said Harmier was at a card table Dec. 12 at the The Last Frontier Casino, 105 W. Fourth St., and he had lost all of his money. Ryan said Harmier then got up and began attacking people with a knife at random.
One of the victims, Bradley Harrington, said he was stabbed in the forehead when he tried to intervene. He told Judge David Gregerson Friday that he continues to have nightmares since the stabbing. He said he remains fearful during everyday activities, like grocery shopping, that a stranger could come around the corner with a knife.
The prosecutor said Harmier first stabbed the person sitting next to him at the card table multiple times, followed by Harrington. Then, Harmier ran at a 73-year-old woman, identified in court records as Virginia Rutty, and stabbed her multiple times, Ryan said. The prosecutor then said Harmier spotted a man running into the parking lot, and Harmier gave chase. Harmier stabbed him multiple times, including inflicting an injury to the man’s arm that required a tourniquet, before driving away from the casino, Ryan said.
Harrington recounted calling 911 to request multiple ambulances and relaying Harmier’s vehicle information to dispatch.
Deputies located Harmier’s Nissan on Interstate 205, just south of the split with Interstate 5, traveling at about 100 mph. They pursued Harmier onto Northeast Padden Parkway, where Harmier continued driving between 90 and 110 mph. They attempted to stop the car using spike strips but were unsuccessful. They eventually performed a pursuit immobilization technique, or PIT maneuver, and stopped Harmier’s car, according to a probable cause affidavit.
After they arrested Harmier, deputies saw blood on the sleeves of his hoodie and found a knife in his car, Ryan said.
Harmier said Friday he was taking responsibility for his actions, and he said he does not remember the incident because he was so intoxicated.
Harmier’s defense attorney, Neil Anderson, said he recognized that Harmier received a significant deal through the plea agreement, as Harmier would’ve been facing between 44 and 54 years in prison if he’d been found guilty of the original charges at trial. He said an informal blood alcohol analysis showed Harmier’s level of intoxication was about twice the legal limit in Washington. He also said Harmier has a history of metal health issues.
The judge called the stabbing “quite the harrowing incident,” and he said it was lucky that no one was killed. Harmier will also be required to undergo substance abuse and anger management treatment.