Son, 43, gets 43 months for assault, imprisonment of parents in Thurston County

A Thurston County man was sentenced Monday to 43 months in prison for holding his elderly parents hostage and assaulting them.

John Andrew Sanders, 43, pleaded guilty in Thurston County Superior Court to five domestic violence-related charges: one count of second-degree assault, two counts of unlawful imprisonment, one count of fourth-degree assault and one count of felony harassment.

The prison sentence will include credit for time served plus 18 months of probation, Judge Anne Hirsch said.

Court documents give the following account:

On July 21, 2014, Sanders became upset about photos his mother had apparently taken the day before. While she was in the bathroom, Sanders kicked in the door and hit her several times. When her husband heard the commotion and came into the room, Sanders began hitting and kicking him.

The couple were thrown to the ground and kicked and punched. They were not allowed to get up or move while Sanders sat in an office chair and asked random nonsensical questions. Sanders would assault the couple if they didn’t answer questions to his liking.

Sanders also took a broken piece of doorjamb and threatened to stab his mother with it, and he threatened to snap his father’s neck.

After three hours, Sanders retrieved two knives from the kitchen and threatened to cut his throat and bleed all over his parents. When Sanders allowed the couple to get up, they left the house and waited at the Tanglewilde Shopping Center for law enforcement to arrive. The couple had suffered multiple cuts, bruises and abrasions.

At Monday’s court hearing, Sanders’ parents pleaded with Hirsch for a lighter sentence and to allow them to contact their son while he’s in prison.

Sanders spoke to the court and apologized for his actions, saying he didn’t remember the events that led to the charges.

“I never meant to hurt anybody,” Sanders said. “I’m trying to accept responsibility for my actions.”

In issuing the sentence, Hirsch told Sanders that his behavior during the incident was extremely frightening.

“It’s quite amazing, frankly, that no one was more seriously hurt,” she said.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869