Man gets 10 years in prison for fatally stabbing 53-year-old at Spokane Valley homeless camp

A 44-year-old man was sentenced to ten years in jail last week for stabbing and killing another man at a Spokane Valley campground in 2020.

Jordan Knippling pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter on Friday.

Deputies responded to a stabbing call near Interstate 90 and Sullivan Road shortly before midnight on May 31, 2020.

They discovered Clifford Breeden, 53, lying on the ground with almost a dozen stab wounds. He was sent to a local hospital but died shortly after.

Knippling was detained after deputies saw him exiting some brush near the scene with bloodstains on his hands, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

During the investigation, Major Crimes Unit detectives revealed that deputies had spoken with Knippling just 30 minutes before the stabbing for disorderly conduct.

Knippling had gotten into a heated altercation with a homeless who was not the stabbing victim, according to authorities. Deputies de-escalated the situation, warning the transients that they were trespassing and ordering them to relocate their camp.

Knippling has a long criminal record, including two assault convictions for hitting MultiCare Valley Hospital workers in 2019.

He was suspected of stabbing his roommate, who survived, a few weeks later, but the charges were withdrawn in March 2020 owing to the victim’s and witnesses’ refusal to cooperate, according to the sheriff’s office.

Knippling was first charged with first-degree murder for Breeden’s death, but the charge was later reduced as part of a plea agreement. Knippling had repeated mental health exams and treatment before being declared competent to stand trial, according to court records.

Judge Timothy Fennessy of Spokane County Superior Court sentenced Knippling to ten years in prison based on the defense and prosecution’s combined recommendation.

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