Abby man sentenced to prison for attacks
Plea deal results in 1.5-year prison term for 2019 stabbings
A 27-year-old former Abbotsford man accused of attacking two people with a knife last April was sentenced to a year and a half in prison Monday as part of a plea agreement reached by his attorney and the Clark County district attorney. Vidal Antonio Lebron Ayala pled guilty to two counts of firstdegree reckless endangerment, in exchange for two counts of attempted homicide and several other charges being dismissed and read into the record. Charges from a separate case, stemming from an Aug. 24 fight with another inmate at the Clark County Jail, were also dismissed and read into the record as part of the plea deal. He had been charged with felony battery by a prisoner in that case. Two unrelated charges of driving without a license were also dismissed and read into the record.
Judge Mark L. Goodman, standing in for Judge Lynsey Brunette, accepted the plea deal proposed by district attorney Melissa Inlow and defense attorney Amanda Roush.
Lebron Ayala will also serve three and a half years of extended supervision after he is released from prison. During this time, he is not allowed to consume any alcohol, possess any weapons or make contact with either of his victims. He must also pay $1,479.30 in court costs.
Judge Goodman also ordered Lebron Ayala to undergo assessments for alcohol and drug abuse and domestic abuse, and to attend anger management counseling.
Although Lebron Ayala was reportedly under the influence of alcohol when the he attacked two people with a kitchen knife on April 28, the judge noted that alcohol was obviously not a factor when he attacked a fellow inmate during an Aug. 24 argument over the television station they were watching.
Judge Goodman said these incidents, taken together, point to a “deep-seeded anger issue” that needs to be addressed.
In the original April 28 incident, security camera footage at the Northside Apartments in Abbotsford showed Lebron Ayala attacking two different men with a knife after he got jealous that one of them was dancing with a female at a party in one of the apartments.
No one was seriously injured during the incident, though one of the victims suffered minor cuts to his hands and head.
Still, Judge Goodman said the attack had a “high potential for lethality.”
“This could have gone real bad real fast, so it is a crime the community has to be protected from,” the judge said.
Roush, Lebron Ayala’s attorney, said footage of the incident shows that her client was not the only one involved. She said over 20 people were present outside the apartment, and one of them fired a gun into the air twice.
(That man, Rene Rafael Arroyo Rodriguez, pled no contest to recklessly endangering safety, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 12 months of probation).
Roush also pointed out that the first man her client attacked with a knife came back after him with his own knife. She said the second victim punched Lebron Ayala “hard enough to knock him off his feet.”
“This was definitely a highly emotional situation and an all-around dangerous situation,” she said.
DA Inlow said “luckily no one was seriously injured” during the incident, which was a factor in offering a plea deal. She also noted that Lebron Ayala had no criminal record prior to this incident.
Speaking through an interpreter, Lebron Ayala told the judge he was sorry and expressed gratitude for being given an opportunity to improve his life in the future.
Roush said her client plans to return to his native Puerto Rico after he is released from prison so he can be closer to his family and pursue a welding degree. As part of his extended supervision, he must obtain a job, attend school or do both.
As a Puerto Rican, Lebron Ayala is a U.S. citizen, and therefore does not face the prospect of deportation due to his felony conviction.
Still, Roush said Lebron Ayala will be a labeled a felon for the rest of his life, which could make it harder for him to find a job and make a living. Before the April 28 incident, she said he worked over 40 hours per week at Abbyland Foods, starting in 2016, and had never been fired from a job before.
Lebron Ayala was granted credit for 275 days already served in Clark County Jail since his arrest last year. That will be deducted from his 18-month prison sentence, bringing the remaining sentence down to about nine months.
Judge Goodman said he appreciated Lebron Ayala’s apology and hopes that he can turn his life around after his sentence is served.
“This is a major turning point in this young man’s life,” the judge said.