By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This morning, a case we’ve been checking on since last fall is resolved: The hate-crime case against 35-year-old Ryan J. Cox has ended with a guilty plea, and he is out of jail after sentencing last Friday.
This case dates back to last October, when Cox was charged with malicious harassment (hate crime) and third-degree assault after hitting a man four times with a baseball bat as they exited a bus on Avalon Way, with Cox shouting homophobic slurs because of his perception of the man’s sexual orientation.
Police arrested Cox the next day at Solstice Park northeast of Lincoln Park, an area he has been known to frequent since his previous involvement in high-profile cases.
Those cases started with his 2009 arrests for anti-gay-graffiti vandalism (image at right was provided by SPD at the time) and a similar arrest in August 2010. Cox was found not competent to stand trial in those cases, and charges were dismissed.
This is Cox’s first felony conviction, though his record of misdemeanors, listed again in documents for Friday’s sentencing, includes convictions ranging from vehicle prowling in the mid-’90s to property destruction and carrying a concealed weapon in 2010. The latter two involved a tire-slashing case for which he received a suspended sentence, as reported here.
Back to this case: Two months after his October arrest, as reported here last December, he was found not competent and committed to Western State Hospital for attempted restoration of competency. Since then, he was found competent to stand trial – a trial since pre-empted by his guilty pleas. We have been checking the online file in the case periodically, and that’s how we discovered today that he has pleaded guilty and been sentenced.
For his guilty pleas to malicious harassment (hate crime) and third-degree assault in this case, court documents show, King County Superior Court Judge Dean Lum sentenced Cox on Friday afternoon to what the prosecution requested – 8 months for each count (“standard range” is listed in court documents as 6 months to a year for malicious harassment, 3 to 6 months for third-degree assault), with credit for time served.
He’s been in jail since his arrest last October – nine months – and the jail register shows he was released last Friday night.