Scott Olenick, the man who fatally stabbed his roommate during an argument last spring, will spend 60 months in prison, followed by 36 months on parole.
“This was just a totally senseless crime, completely unnecessary — really tragic,” said Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley. “You just feel so horrible for the families involved; the defendant had no criminal record and expressed remorse right away and the victim’s family experienced such a deep loss, as did this community.”
During last week’s court hearing, the father of Josh Davitt, 23, who died May 7 from complications related to a knife wound to the heart, challenged Olenick, 26, to “make something of himself.” Joseph Davitt said the defendant’s time on earth needed to count because his son had been deprived of a full life.
Olenick pleaded guilty to the charge of first-degree attempted assault Dec. 18 and apologized to the Davitt family. He expressed remorse for his actions and said that he had been filled with regret since the night of the attack.
According to reports, Davitt was intoxicated when he got into a verbal dispute with Olenick, who had not been drinking, shortly before 1 a.m. on April 29. The argument escalated into violence at the apartment they shared near the intersection of 10th Street and Dry Hollow Road.
Olenick stabbed Davitt in the chest and the wounded man got on a bicycle in an attempt to seek medical attention for his wound. He collapsed near the Dry Hollow intersection and a passing motorist reported a “man down” to the emergency dispatch center. Local law enforcement officials and medics from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue converged on the scene.
Davitt was manually resuscitated for 30 minutes as medics worked to save his life. Once he had been stabilized enough to travel, Davitt was transported by LifeFlight to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
He was unable to recover from the major injury that had caused a loss of oxygen to his brain and died three days after being taken off life support.
Nisley said Olenick was cooperative with police during the investigation and did not resist arrest. The knife used in the crime was seized at the apartment and taken into evidence. The charge against Olenick was increased from first-degree assault to first-degree manslaughter with Davitt’s death. However, Nisley said the agreed-upon charge for his conviction was assault because Olenick had not demonstrated the extreme indifference to human life normally associated with a manslaughter charge.
“It is very difficult to process this kind of thing because there’s no rhyme or reason to it,” said Nisley. “Clearly he was trying to harm him but I just don’t think he was trying to kill him.”
Davitt was a graduate of The Dalles High School and worked for the local Salvation Army branch.