Friday, August 28, 2009
WALLA WALLA -- A Starbuck man has been ordered to serve two years in prison in connection with a shooting last winter on Robinette Mountain south of Dayton.
Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht sentenced Roy Rogers Clark, 65, to six months in prison for attempted second-degree assault. The sentence also includes a mandatory 18-month enhanced sentence because a firearm was used in committing the crime.
Clark will receive credit for 262 days already served.
Before he was sentenced Thursday, Schacht gave Clark the opportunity to speak.
Clark said that when he was released from prison, he would prove a sheriff's deputy involved in the shooting was a liar.
A jury found Clark guilty of attempted second-degree assault July 24 at the end of a seven-day trial.
Clark was initially charged with first-degree attempted aggravated murder and five counts of first-degree assault involving a firearm or deadly weapon after a Dec. 6 shooting on Robinette Mountain.
Sheriff's Deputy Don Foley responded to a call for assistance from Clark's neighbors in gaining access to their property around 10 p.m. Clark was under a tree and armed with a shotgun. He refused Foley's repeated order to put down the gun, and Foley returned fire after Clark fired his gun, according to testimony during the trial.
Clark was injured in the chest by a bullet from Foley's gun. He was arrested three days later when he was released from the hospital, and has been in the Walla Walla County Jail since that time.
Schacht denied motions by defense attorney William McCool for a new trial.
Before his sentence was imposed, several people spoke in support of Clark, and others against.
Emotions were near the surface when Frank Clark spoke on his brother's behalf. Roy Clark had no intent to harm anyone, Frank Clark said. He asked the judge to acquit his brother on all charges.
"It's not true. It's not just," Frank Clark said of the charges.
Foley fought back tears as he recounted how difficult the entire situation has been for him, his family and other members of the community. "Mr. Clark's fiancee is one of my mom's best friends," he said.
"That was one of the most difficult situations that I have experienced as a human being and as a law enforcement officer. I am grateful the defendant is alive and here in the court today," Foley said.
Clark has no prior criminal record, which Schacht said he took into account in formulating the sentence.
Besides the 24 months, the sentence includes $12,500 in restitution to Columbia County for the cost of housing Clark in the Walla Walla County Jail. Columbia County Deputy Prosecutor June Wiley recommended Clark be made to pay the entire cost, $17,487. Clark is also responsible for $1,350 in other fees and costs.
Schacht ordered Clark to a period of community supervision, and forbade him to have any contact with Foley or his family, or any other members of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
Carrie Chicken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 522-5289.