Retrial finds Wimmer guilty

A jury found a 27-year-old Oak Harbor man guilty Monday of attempted murder in the second degree, burglary in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment.

The 12 jurors also acquitted Robert Wimmer of the most serious charge of first-degree attempted murder.

The trial was a re-trial of an earlier mistrial in which jurors were deadlocked over attempted murder, burglary and kidnapping charges. The first jury found Wimmer guilty of first-degree rape and not guilty of first-degree assault.

Wimmer will likely be sentenced for all the charges he was convicted of next month. He faces between 16 years and nine months and 25 years and six months in prison.

Both Wimmer and the victim, 24-year-old Holly McFadden, were sailors stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Wimmer was upset that McFadden was divorcing him, so he tracked her down at an apartment she was sharing with a friend.

Wimmer forced his way in the door and violently raped her. He pulled her back into the apartment after she tried to escape and attempted to strangle her before police arrived.

Wimmer did not take the stand in his own defense. In fact, his attorney, Lance Hendrix of Coupeville, didn’t offer any defense witnesses.

Prosecutor Greg Banks, who handled the re-trial, said he was very satisfied with the result.

“The jury did a thorough job, and have reached a result that will hold Mr. Wimmer accountable for his crimes,” he said in a written statement. “Hopefully, Holly can move on with her life, and begin to put these horrible events into her past.”

Banks spoke with the jurors after the verdict. He said the jurors felt that the attempted murder was not a premeditated act, which is why they found him guilty of the lesser crime of second-degree attempted murder. In other words, they didn’t feel Wimmer planned to murder her ahead of time.

The jury did, however, find that Wimmer committed the burglary with sexual motivation. Banks proved that Wimmer planned to rape his estranged wife when he entered her apartment uninvited.

Banks said he will argue for a sentence at the top of the range.

“I believe this case warrants severe punishment,” he said.

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