Convicted burglar accused of felony assault

A San Juan Island who was recently sentenced to a 15-month prison term for first-degree burglary now faces a new round of felony charges for an alleged attack on a former girlfriend at her Friday Harbor home.

Taiya Autumn Speed, 24, is slated to be arraigned in San Juan County Superior Court Wednesday, Nov. 27, on charges of second-degree assault, a Class B felony, violation of a protection order, a Class C felony and third-degree malicious mischief, a gross misdemeanor. He turned himself in at the Sheriff's department in Friday Harbor the day after the alleged assault occurred and remains in custody.

On Nov. 19, Speed and an accomplice were both ordered to serve 15 months in prison after each pleaded guilty to felony burglary in mid-October. The two were convicted of muscling their way into the Friday Harbor apartment in pursuit of prescription medication and then became involved in an altercation with the couple who lived there.

On the night that the sentence was handed down, authorities claim that Speed went to the home of a former girlfriend and, after his sexual advances were rejected, that he then attacked, threatened and strangled the woman in a fit of rage. He reportedly fled the woman's Grover Street home when he saw that a neighbor had seen him inside the home. The woman's two children were reportedly at home in an upstairs bedroom when the altercation broke out.

According to court documents, the woman allowed Speed to come to her home to talk about his impending incarceration despite a protection order that prevented him from contacting her. He was slated to begin serving the 15-month prison term on Dec. 2.

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