Gun fired as man serves papers

A 55-year-old Freeland man living on Sandpaper Road fired a 9 mm pistol in the vicinity of a man attempting to serve him papers, according to an Island County Sheriff’s Office report.

Prosecutors on March 8 charged the suspect, Robert Stoughton, in Island County Superior Court with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He pleaded not guilty March 18.

If convicted of the charge, Stoughton could face more than three years in prison because of a firearm enhancement.

Deputy Daniel Todd wrote in his report that the alleged victim and two other people went to a Sandpiper Road home on March 3 to serve papers on a resident. The man got out of the car to serve the papers while the other two remained in the mini van.

Todd wrote that the alleged victim and the two witnesses claim that an older man, who turned out to be Stoughton, came out of the side of a building armed with a gun. He slid the slide back on the pistol and walked toward the man.

The alleged victim said he yelled at Stoughton that he was only serving papers, but Stoughton fired the gun toward him, the report states. The bullet hit the ground about three-to-five feet away from him.

Stoughton allowed the man to leave the property, the report states, but kept the gun pointed at him.

Ferguson wrote that he spoke to a resident of the house, who was the target of the paper service. That man said has heard a loud noise, which he thought was a car door slamming. He lives downstairs from Stoughton, who was his landlord, the report states.

Stoughton said he did nothing wrong, Ferguson wrote.

“The evidence will bear out that there’s much more to this case and much less to it,” said his attorney, Irving Rosenberg of Coupeville.

The deputies arrested Stoughton on suspicion of assault. He got out on $25,000 bail the same day.

“He’s certainly no danger to anyone,” Rosenberg said.

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