Camano man charged with killing friend

A fight over a lawn turned into murder on Camano Island July 26, prosecutors charge.

Investigators claim 65-year-old Huey Ford shot and killed his long-time friend, 55-year-old Mahlon “Lonnie” Gane, Jr., during an argument over grass.

Island County prosecutors charged Ford in Superior Court July 29 with second-degree murder, or in the alternative, second-degree felony murder and first-degree assault.

“We charged Ford with two alternative means of committing murder,” Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said in a press release. “We alleged that he either intended to kill Gane or that the fatal shot was inflicted during the commission of an assault.”

Detective Sue Quandt with the Island County Sheriff’s Office wrote that Ford admitted to shooting Gane in the head while the two men were wrestling on the ground.

Ford, who relies on a wheelchair, keeps a .38 caliber revolver under his leg for protection. He said Gane, a Stanwood resident, came over to his house and brought back a .45 caliber handgun, which he had borrowed from Ford.

The two men had been arguing for weeks because Ford accused Gane of poisoning his grass. The argument escalated when Gane used a racial slur and threw a pillow at his friend.

Ford pulled out the gun from under his leg and fired at least two shots toward Gane’s legs, Quandt wrote. Gane grabbed the .45 caliber gun off the coffee table, but Ford knocked it away.

Gane punched Ford in the face and knocked him out of the wheelchair. They fought on the ground until Ford was able to grab the .45. He shot Gane in the back of the head, the report states.

Gane continued to fight back; Ford’s gun jammed. Ford told investigators that Gane began saying, “I’m dying, let me go.”

Ford retrieved his .38 caliber handgun and shot Gane twice more, Quandt wrote.

Ford told investigators that he reloaded the gun to shoot himself, but decided against it. Instead, he called 911 and told the dispatcher that he shot his friend.

Gane was declared dead at the scene.

Ford is being held in Island County Superior Court on $250,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 12.

If convicted of either murder murder charge, Ford would face between 10 years and three months to 18 years and four month in prison. In addition, a “firearm enhancement” would add five years to the sentence.

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