Oak Harbor man who wielded gun guilty on multiple charges
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:49 AM
A man who held a gun to the head of another man at an Oak Harbor party last August will likely be doing some hard time.
Wednesday, a jury found 31-year-old Willie Rainey of Oak Harbor guilty of first-degree burglary with a deadly weapon enhancement, assault in the second degree and two counts of assault in violation of a no-contact order.
The sentencing date hasn't been set. Island County Deputy Prosecutor Patrick McKenna said he will likely ask for a sentence near the top of the range. Rainey faces up to nine years and five months in prison, including the mandatory two-year sentence that comes with a deadly weapons enhancement.
McKenna jurors had to do a lot of work during the four hours of deliberation.
"The jury was faced with a large number of legal issues," he said.
Among the issues they had to tackle was what to make of the testimony of one of the victims, who claimed that Rainey never hit her. In the end, they apparently felt she was not reliable.
"It's not uncommon for victims in domestic violence-type cases to be uncooperative at trial," McKenna said.
In fact, McKenna argued that the alarming incident spawned from domestic violence.
According to a report by Detective Ed Wallace with the Island County Sheriff's Office, Rainey went to a party on Colin Way while his estranged girlfriend was there. The woman, who was 20 years old, had a domestic violence no-contact order barring Rainey from contacting her.
A group of the partygoers intervened when Rainey assaulted the woman in the yard. The woman managed to escape into the house and Rainey tried to follow, but was blocked by a group of men.
Rainey punched one of the men in the face, Wallace wrote, before the men forcefully ejected him from the property and told him not to come back.
Later, Rainey returned and entered the home through the back door. He was holding a revolver and held it to the head of one of the men who had protected the woman. Rainey then hit the man with the barrel and waved it at others, the report states.
At that point, Rainey turned to his girlfriend and punched her again. The male victim ran to another room and called 911.
The crimes occurred while Rainey was on pre-trial release for assaulting the same woman in violation of a court order; he was a suspect in yet another assault.
After the armed assaults at the party, Island County Sheriff's Office took the unusual step of sending out a bulletin asking the community to be on the lookout for Rainey, who was considered armed and dangerous. At that time, he was wanted on a $500,000 warrant.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.