Stabbing suspect charged

Accused attacker Isaiah Lawrence Shepherd, 18, was arraigned Thursday and charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly stabbing a 22-year-old party-goer during a New Year’s Eve gathering.

Shepherd, a former South Kitsap High School student, is accused of crashing the party in the 3500 block of Greentree Drive, just outside the Port Orchard city limits. According to witness reports, Shepherd and a group of young men got into a fight with the victim and his friends.

At some point, Shepherd allegedly unsheathed a large hunting knife and stabbed the victim twice in the back. The victim’s 18-year-old brother was also slashed across the abdomen.

Both men were treated and released at area hospitals.

At the time of the attack, Shepherd was out on bail awaiting trial on unrelated burglary and theft charges.

According to court documents, Shepherd was arrested in November for conspiracy to commit residential burglary, second-degree burglary and third-degree theft. School officials said Shepherd has not been back to school since.

Shepherd allegedly stole items from a Port Orchard residence in August, shoplifted items from a department store in Silverdale in October, then, later that month, was overheard discussing another Port Orchard burglary he planned to commit.

Shepherd turned 18 in September and is being tried as an adult on all charges.

Although Shepherd’s burglary trial was supposed to begin tomorrow, all his earlier cases have been suspended while the prosecutor’s office investigates a possible connection between the burglary charges and the New Year’s assault.

“At this point, it appears there is no connection,” said deputy prosecutor Andy Anderson.

A status hearing on the burglary and theft charges is scheduled for Friday.

Anderson said even if no connection is found, the prosecutor’s office may opt to increase the severity of the assault charge from second-degree to first-degree.

The omnibus hearing for his assault charge has been set for Jan. 23. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 24.

If convicted, Shepherd would earn an automatic 12-month sentence for the weapon enhancement, on top of his regular sentence. If he has a previous weapons conviction, the automatic added prison time can be bumped up to 24 months.

Shepherd remains in custody with bail set at $30,000. His earlier release on bond has been revoked.

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