Centralia Man Gets Eight Months After Allegedly Attacking His Former Roommate With a Knife


The Centralia man accused of breaking into a former roommate’s house and assaulting her with a knife has pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree assault and has been sentenced to eight months imprisonment with credit for 25 days already served, followed by 12 months of community custody.

Elmer Jose Hernandez Zepeda entered an Alford plea — a plea in which the defendant maintains their innocence but admits that the prosecution’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial — on both counts on March 24.

In addition to jail time, Judge J. Andrew Toynbee ordered that Hernandez Zepeda have no contact with the victim. Hernandez Zepeda will also be required to start paying court fines and fees 60 days after his release from jail.

Hernandez Zepeda was arrested on Feb. 28 after Centralia police responded to a report of a physical dispute in the 1500 block of Scheuber Road.

The victim reported that Hernandez Zepeda had entered her house without her knowledge, shown up at her bedside, “grabbed the back of her head and whispered to her that he wanted money so he could go to Miami,” according to the affidavit.

She reportedly told him that she did not have any money and attempted to wake another person in the room to call 911, but Hernandez Zepeda allegedly told her to “‘shush,’ bit her cheek, and told her it would be really bad for her family,” if the police came, according to court documents.

Hernandez Zepeda then allegedly “lifted her head from the bed” and she noticed he was holding an 8-10 inch knife to her throat.

He then reportedly went into the bathroom with the knife, at which point the victim was able to wake the other person in the room and have them call 911.

At the time of his arrest, Lewis County Superior Court had a $50,000 warrant out for Hernandez  Zepeda’s arrest stemming from an incident reported on Jan. 7 where Hernandez Zepeda allegedly assaulted the same victim, reportedly grabbing her by the hair and “dragging her across the room.”

Hernandez Zepeda then allegedly grabbed her throat and “held her down to where she could not breathe,” and sliced her leg with a knife. When another person attempted to pull Hernandez Zepeda off of the victim, he allegedly grabbed her by the hair as well before fleeing the residence.

Hernandez Zepeda is currently serving the remainder of his jail sentence at the Lewis County Jail.