Attempted Murder or First-degree Assault?

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.

14 thoughts on “Attempted Murder or First-degree Assault?

  1. Seems to me assault is beating someone up.
    Firing a gun at someone and leaving six bullets in them seems a little more deadly than ‘assault’.

    If a gun firing bullets is not considered a deadly weapon, why is anyone buying a gun required to have a background check before getting the gun?

    And why need a concealed weapons permit for a gun if a person using it can only be charged for assault – the same as if they had assaulted with their fists?
    Sharon O’Hara

  2. The science of law! To me six shots at close range would seem easy to prove to a jury that it was an intent to kill. I find this crazy. Even the time they spent looking for this guy in comparison to the manhunt for Mr. Gavin a suspected meth dealer with a DOC warrant a couple of weeks ago. Absurd

  3. Let’s all pray and keep our fingers crossed this psycho is caught real soon and then hope that the prosecutors charge him with exactly what he deserves: ATTEMPTED MURDER. Assault? Please!

  4. cmc spouse, Good luck on the charges. this guy is going to get off way too easy. Mark my words. His kids will suffer more punishment.

  5. He’s been caught. Method of gettaway “Cab” that’s priceless. Charge: 1st Domestic Violence! Unbelievable!!!!

  6. I wonder if the Prosecutors office could ask for an exceptional sentence from the jury. The way criminals are being released early in this state, the longer the sentence the better.

  7. I wonder if the Prosecutors office could ask for an exceptional sentence from the jury. The way criminals are being released early in this state, the longer the sentence the better.

  8. Sharon: “beating someone up” is an Assault- there are different degrees of Assault depending on the severity of the incident.

    Here’s the Definition of Assault 1st degree. NOTE subsection (a)

    RCW 9A.36.011
    Assault in the first degree.

    (1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:

    (a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or

    (b) Administers, exposes, or transmits to or causes to be taken by another, poison, the human immunodeficiency virus as defined in chapter 70.24 RCW, or any other destructive or noxious substance; or

    (c) Assaults another and inflicts great bodily harm.

    (2) Assault in the first degree is a class A felony.

  9. I could be wrong on this but I believe in this county they charge the most serious offense in many cases because since sentences are run concurrently, the violation of the no contact order would not add any additional time. Thats why I hope that the exceptional sentence will apply.

  10. pk, thank you. One more question, please.

    … if…”(a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death; or …”
    constitutes a Class A Felony Assault charge, what more is needed for a murder charge?
    Sharon O’Hara

  11. Heres the definition for Homicide- I think a key sentence is toward the end of the paragraph- “thereby causes the death”

    Assault 1st degree is a Class A Felony- Homicide is also a Class A Felony (Class A is the worst of the worst) I’m no expert, but I believe the sentencing guidelines are the same or very similiar

    RCW 9A.32.030
    Murder in the first degree.

    (1) A person is guilty of murder in the first degree when:

    (a) With a premeditated intent to cause the death of another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

    (b) Under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life, he or she engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to any person, and thereby causes the death of a person;

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