Attempted Murder or First-degree Assault?October 2nd, 2007 by josh farley
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Yesterday, we reported that a warrant was issued for a 28-year-old Bremerton man wanted by police for attempted murder.
The man, Darrin D. Maiden, is alleged to have shot a 27-year-old woman on Montgomery Avenue and fled the scene Tuesday afternoon. He has yet to be caught.
However, when I received the court documents charging Maiden from the Kitsap County Clerk’s Office, a warrant for attempted murder — despite the cops’ request for that charge in court documents — was nowhere to be found. Instead, it was for first-degree assault.
“What gives?” I asked Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Casad.
Casad told me this morning that in order to charge attempted murder, a prosecutor must prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was indeed attempting to kill someone.
Six fired bullets to some of us would indicate that. However, evidence, Casad said must back that claim up (Such as: a witness reporting the person’s plan to kill someone).
In the current charge of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, a prosecutor would need to prove to a jury that the defendant intended to inflict great bodily harm. That, Casad said, is not as high a burden of proof.
The reason all this matters, Casad added, is that the time-for-the-crime between the first-degree assault and attempted murder isn’t that much different. Both are class A felonies, punishable by up to life imprisonment.
“The sentencing difference is not tremendous,” Casad said.