A 47-year-old man who shot a friend at his Olympia home in November after an evening of drinking pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor assault as part of a plea deal and will serve no time in jail.
A prosecutor dismissed a charge of first-degree felony assault against Mark Malone during a hearing Friday in Thurston County Superior Court in exchange for Malone’s guilty plea to fourth-degree misdemeanor assault. Malone’s attorney, G. Saxon Rodgers, said in court that his client acted in self-defense while being severely beaten by the man he shot.
“It was a vicious fight,” Rodgers said. “ He feared for his life.”
According to court papers:
Malone and the shooting victim had returned home to Malone’s Mallard Street address on Nov. 17 after a night of drinking at Frankie’s and later at the Cedar Inn Lodge. They had brought home two women, but the women left in a cab.
Malone and his friend then started fighting. The shooting victim later told police that he was “about to kill” Malone and had been punching him in the face when he “got off him and took a step back.” That’s when Malone pulled out a pistol, loaded with ball rounds, and fired a shot that struck his friend in the sternum.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark Thompson said Friday that he agreed to the plea deal allowing Malone to avoid jail time because “there is certainly a risk that we would not have been able to prove an absence of self-defense.” Thompson added that the shooting victim was not seriously wounded by the ball round that struck him and “essentially walked out of the hospital just hours after being shot.”
The shooting victim was consulted prior to the prosecutor’s office entering into the plea deal, Thompson added.
“Both individuals were extremely intoxicated” during the night of the shooting, Thompson said in court.
Malone has no prior criminal history. He entered an Alford plea Friday, meaning he does not admit guilt but concedes there is enough evidence to convict him of misdemeanor assault had the case gone to trial. It is considered the same as a guilty plea in the eyes of the court.
Malone served two days in jail when he was arrested by Thurston County sheriff’s deputies after the shooting. In his guilty plea statement, Malone wrote that he committed the shooting in self-defense, after his friend “beat me with his fists.”Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 email@example.com