A man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for attempting to kill an employee at a halfway house in Leavenworth.


Cameron J. Walton, 38, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for attempted second-degree murder.


The crime occurred Dec. 13, 2016, at the Grossman Center in Leavenworth.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons contracts with Geo Reentry Services, which operates the Grossman Center as a reentry facility for inmates who are completing their sentences.


Walton reportedly attacked an employee of the Grossman Center. The incident occurred on the day Walton was scheduled to be released from the center.


As part of a plea agreement, the parties agreed to recommend a 12-year prison sentence.


Assistant County Attorney Megan Williams said Wednesday that this recommendation was based on the belief Walton would receive the highest score based on a defendant’s criminal history that is used in the state’s sentencing system.


But a ruling last month by District Judge Gerald Kuckelman significantly reduced Cameron’s criminal history score.


With the change in the score, 88 months, or seven years and four months, was considered to be the standard sentence in the case.


Williams recommended Walton be sentenced to what was considered the aggravated sentence of 92 months, or seven years and eight months.


The prosecutor said the attack on the Grossman Center employee had been unprovoked. She said the victim almost died.


Williams noted the incident occurred at a halfway house.


"So (Walton) recently had been released from prison," she said.


Walton’s attorney, Clinton Lee, asked that his client receive the standard sentence in the case.


At one point during the case, it was determined Walton was not competent to stand trial. After a lengthy stay at a state hospital in Larned, Walton was restored to competency and returned to Leavenworth County, Lee said.


The defense attorney said officials at the state hospital documented that Walton had a history of mental illness.


Lee said Walton was found to be competent because he was compliant with taking needed medication. The defense attorney said his client had not been medication compliant at the time of the incident at the Grossman Center.


Williams argued that a statement made by Walton shows he knew what he was doing at the time of the attack.


When given the opportunity to speak, Walton said he was sorry.


"I didn’t really mean to do it," he said.


Walton accused the victim of trying to throw him out of the center on a cold night. Walton said this placed him in danger.


Kuckelman said despite Walton’s mental health issues, the defendant still has to be held accountable.


"He knew perfectly well what he was doing," the judge said.


The judge noted that Walton had apologized. But Kuckelman said it sounded like the defendant was not very remorseful.


Kuckelman said Walton was blaming the victim for what happened.


The judge imposed the aggravated sentence of 92 months.


Walton will receive credit for the time he has been in custody, which has been about four years.


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