Most felonies are domestic violence as other many cases set aside

Four people this month have appeared in Island County Superior Court after being accused of domestic-violence-related crimes.

Nearly all the felonies filed last month were also domestic-violence crimes as most other types of cases investigated by police are being held in abeyance during the pandemic. Only crimes involving violence, domestic violence and sexual assault have been charged under the office’s policy, which is meant to minimize contact between people in the courts and jail.

That’s starting to change this week as prosecutors prepare to file felony charges against people accused of property, drug and other crimes, according to Island County Chief Criminal Prosecuting Attorney Eric Ohme.

On May 8, Oak Harbor police arrested a 26-year-old man who assaulted two women when he went to a home and struggled to leave with his young sons; a child was thrown to the ground during the struggle, the police report states.

The man backed into one of the women’s car twice before leaving, the report states.

Court documents state that the judge found probable cause to believe he committed felony malicious mischief and two counts of fourth degree assault, all domestic violence crimes. Court records show felony charges have not been filed.

On May 12, prosecutors charged Oak Harbor resident Richard V. Day, 32, in Island County Superior Court with two counts of felony violation of a domestic-violence protection order, domestic-violence assault in the fourth degree and malicious mischief in the third degree.

Day is accused of assaulting a woman he was barred from contacting by a court order. He ripped chunks of hair out of her scalp, leaving large bald spots, according to a police report.

Day also allegedly tried to punch her, bent back her finger and kicked the car, breaking the headlight.

Day was ordered held on $20,000 bail.

On the same day, 20-year-old Lane O. Walters of Clinton was charged with assault in the second degree and assault in the fourth degree. They were both charged as crimes of domestic violence.

Walters is accused of assaulting two different women in front of a child on May 10. He allegedly slammed one woman to the ground, got on top of her and choked her until she lost consciousness, the police report states.

Deputies found Walters inside a house with a locked door, holding his son and refusing to leave.

After refusing to let the officers access the house, he eventually stepped outside and was arrested.

Walters told a deputy that he had pulled out a gun and considered using it “against the girls” because he thought they were breaking and entering, the report states.

Walters was released on his own recognizance.

On May 13, a 31-year-old woman appeared in court after being accused of two counts of violation of a domestic violence protection order and tampering with a witness.

The woman was an inmate in the jail and called a woman she was barred from calling by a court order repeatedly; she tried to coach her to change her story to police, according to the police report. Calls from the jail are recorded and monitored.

Court records indicate that felony charges haven’t been filed.

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