Local News

Court taking extreme precaution to safeguard Michael West

SPOKANE, Wash. - Michael West, a convicted killer who allegedly gouged out one of his cellmate's eyes while in custody, headed back to court Monday to stand trial for another series of violent crimes.

Defendants who stand trial are usually allowed to take notes so that they can help with their defense, but no one is willing to trust West with so much as a short pencil after he allegedly gouged another prisoner's eye out with his thumb.

It happened at the Airway Heights Corrections Center back in 2010 after West had been transferred to the medium security facility. West was already doing time for killing his cellmate in the Spokane County Jail back in 2004.

Michael West court safeguarding

West is now always being held in solitary confinement and on Monday corrections deputies were working on safeguarding his appearance in Superior Court. During the trial West will be shackled to a bolt drilled into his defense table and his hands will be cuffed out of sight from the jury so he won't be able to take notes.

Whenever West is moved in and out of the court, no less than six deputies are escorting him.

The judge in the case doesn't want to prejudice the jury so the panel will never see him in chains.

Usually, when the judge enters the courtroom, everyone in court is asked to stand up, but since West can't stand up, that "All rise" order will not be given during his trial.