Citing the defendant’s apparent lack of remorse for his “startling and vicious attack,” a Benton County judge on Monday sentenced Eric Leroy Patterson of Corvallis to more than eight years behind bars for beating a woman with a large wooden dowel outside the Benton County Courthouse on Sept. 26.
A witness told police that Patterson hit the woman five or six times with a big stick and yanked her purse out of her hand.
Patterson, 37, was found mentally competent to stand trial and chose to represent himself, although he was advised by court-appointed attorney Mike Flinn.
On Jan. 29, he was found guilty by a jury of second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon, both felonies, and a misdemeanor charge of second-degree disorderly conduct. The jury also determined there was an aggravating factor in the assault charge, citing Patterson’s previous convictions for menacing, assault and battery.
He was found not guilty of first-degree robbery.
On Monday, Patterson appeared for sentencing wearing striped jail coveralls and shackled hand and foot, while two bailiffs stood at alert nearby.
The assault charge, the most serious count against Patterson, is a Measure 11 offense that carries a minimum sentence of five years and 10 months in prison. But Deputy District Attorney Andrew Jordan, who prosecuted the case, asked Circuit Court Judge Locke Williams to go beyond the state sentencing guidelines and give Patterson a full 10 years.
“He showed no remorse for the victim. He didn’t care at all what he did to her,” Jordan argued. “In fact, in his closing arguments, he said if he had to do it all over again, he would. … We believe 10 years is entirely appropriate.”
Patterson, who talked over the judge and prosecutor throughout the proceedings, argued for a lighter sentence.
“There wasn’t even any blood at the scene,” Patterson said. “I think 10 years is entirely inappropriate. This is bull****.”
While not as harsh a penalty as the prosecution requested, Williams sentenced Patterson to 100 months on the assault charge, or eight years and four months. He also ordered Patterson to submit to three years of post-prison supervision, undergo a mental health evaluation and counseling, and have no contact with the victim.
Patterson was sentenced to two-and-a-half years plus two years of post-prison supervision on the weapons charge and six months less time served for disorderly conduct, with all three terms to be served concurrently.
The sentence provoked a profanity-laced tirade from Patterson, who was admonished by the judge to watch his language in the courtroom because there were children present.
“I don’t care,” Patterson said.
“I know you don’t,” Williams responded. “That’s why you’re going to prison for 100 months.”