Man charged in sexual predator’s death

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TACOMA — A 39-year-old man has been charged with murder after an altercation at a state detention center for sexually violent predators ended with the death of a 63-year-old former Grant County resident.

Jerry Spicer, a former Grant County resident and convicted sexually violent predator, fell and hit his head Jan. 2 after an altercation with another detainee, Gregory Coley Jr., according to a press release. Video recordings from the facility allegedly show Coley first chest-bumping Spicer, then taking both hands and forcibly shoving him to the ground.

Spicer was transported to Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and later died of his injuries.

Both were being detained at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island, which provides specialized mental health treatment program for civilly committed sexually violent offenders who have completed their prison sentences but have been deemed likely to re-offend as a result of a psycho-sexual mental health disorder, according to a press release.

Spicer was detained at the commitment center in 2005 and committed in 2009 after a Grant County court determined he met the criteria of a sexually violent predator, according to the press release. He was initially convicted of first-degree child molestation in 1991, according to state officials.

The Washington State Patrol was notified and later arrested Coley. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail, originally on a charge of felony assault in the second-degree and is being held for another federal agency, according to booking records.

Since then, Coley has been charged with murder, Pierce County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kawyne Lund said Tuesday. Coley entered an initial not-guilty plea until he can be provided with an attorney, though he may change his plea at a later date at the advice of legal counsel, Lund said.

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