Sex Offender Convicted for Stabbing Thurston County Deputy, Threatening Elderly Woman


Ronald Clayton, a 43-year-old sex offender charged for stabbing a Thurston County deputy at a Yelm residence in March 2021, pleaded guilty Monday to one count each of of second-degree attempted murder while armed with a deadly weapon and second-degree assault. 

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Wilson sentenced Clayton to the high-end standard sentencing range, and he will serve just under 27 years in prison, according to a news release from the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office. 

According to the prosecutor’s office, Clayton stole a knife from a store on March 26, 2021 — about 24 hours after he was released from the Department of Corrections on a failure to register conviction — and “almost immediately used it in the commission of these crimes.” 

Clayton went to a residential trailer in Yelm and, moments after the elderly female resident allowed him in, he pulled a large knife from a sheath and stated he was going to rape her, according to the prosecutor’s office. 

The woman reportedly let Clayton inside “because she knew him through her former roommate,” according to the prosecutor’s office. 

After about 10 to 15 minutes of the woman pleading and reasoning with him, a concerned neighbor dropped by to check on her and subsequently called the police from her home next door after realizing the woman was in danger, according to the prosecutor’s office. 

Thurston County deputies were first called out to the house at about 8:13 p.m. According to dispatch, a caller had dialed 911 saying that a male was scaring her and her friend and that he had a knife in his pocket, according to previous reporting by The Nisqually Valley News. 

Deputy Andrea Moore, then with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, was the first responding deputy to arrive at the Yelm address. 

The woman reported hearing a loud knock on the door and opened it to find Moore, who asked if she was OK. Clayton appeared behind the woman, threatening her with a knife, which led Moore to pull her firearm to protect the woman and herself, according to the prosecutor’s office. Clayton then knocked the woman to the ground and charged at Moore. 

The woman reported hearing gunshots before getting to her feet and seeing Clayton on top of the deputy. 

“In fear for her life, she ran inside and locked herself in her home where she remained until medics transported Clayton and Deputy Moore to nearby hospitals for medical treatment,” stated the prosecutor’s office in a news release. 

Within two minutes of her arrival at the Yelm residence, Moore reported over the radio that she had been stabbed and shots were fired, according to previous reporting by The Nisqually Valley News. 

Another deputy arrived soon after and found both his colleague and the defendant on the ground, with a large knife within arm’s reach of Clayton. 

After handcuffing the defendant, he offered aid to the deputy, who lost consciousness at one point due to the stab wound to her neck, according to the prosecutor’s office. 

Both Clayton and Morton were transported to the hospital for emergency medical treatment.  

Clayton was still hospitalized in critical condition as of April 6, 2021, according to reporting by The Nisqually Valley News. Jail records show he was released from the hospital and booked into the Thurston County Jail on April 28, 2021. 

After undergoing surgery for her injuries, Moore, who was 35 at the time, was released on March 30 from Providence St. Peter Hospital and was greeted by the Yelm community with a homecoming tribute, according to previous reporting by The Nisqually Valley News. 

Moore has since transferred to the Lacey Police Department.

Moore, now an officer with the  Lacey Police Department, was presented with the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, the highest honor given to any law enforcement officer in the state, by Gov. Jay Inslee in May 2022. 

She addressed Clayton directly in her comments to the court on Monday, “saying that he sought out those he deemed weak in an effort to show dominance,” according to the prosecutor’s office.

The prosecutor’s office quoted Moore as telling Clayton, “You failed. And I — a woman — am who took you down.”

The elderly victim died in May 2022, and representatives spoke in court about the tragic impact

the crimes had on the final 14 months of her life, according to the prosecutor’s office. 

Brandi Archer, the senior deputy prosecuting attorney involved with the case, said, “Today, we

saw justice served for the victims of Ronald Clayton’s violent crimes. This incident had a profound impact on the victims and the community, and I am moved by the strength and resilience of the officer. Hopefully today’s sentencing provides some level of closure for everyone impacted by Mr. Clayton’s actions,” according to a news release.