Jury finds Oak Harbor woman not guilty of assault
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
May 19, 2009 · 3:31 PM
Earlier this month, a jury acquitted a 23-year-old Oak Harbor woman accused of going into a neighbor’s apartment and assaulting four people.
The jurors found Jade Dent not guilty of one count of second-degree assault and three counts of fourth-degree assault.
Dent’s attorney, Darrin Hall of Coupeville, said the trial was unique in the fact that three people connected to law enforcement were on the jury. He admits that most defense attorneys wouldn’t have wanted them on the jury, but he had a hunch.
“The credibility of the civilian witnesses was a significant problem,” he said Wednesday. “I thought law enforcement would be the best people to judge their credibility.”
Apparently he was right. Dent testified that she got into a fight with the people at the house on the night of Oct. 4, 2008. She claimed the residents pushed her out of the house abruptly, she got mad and broke a window, then they attacked her.
“It was basically a bar fight,” Hall said.
The people in the house, the so-called civilian witnesses, claimed that Dent was the aggressor, she refused to leave and she assaulted four people.
After the trial, Dent said she was vindicated.
“I was the true victim,” she said. “They beat me up and then lied about it.”Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.