Everett car-dragging victim disagrees with leniency request

EVERETT — Prosecutors won’t fight a defense attorney’s request for leniency for a man who dragged another man across an Everett parking lot last year, nearly costing the victim his left leg and foot.

The victim and his family, however, are said not to be on board with the agreement. That could influence how much time the assailant, Joshua Painter, spends behind bars.

Jim Dulaney has undergone multiple surgeries since the May 22, 2016 assault. Doctors had to use pins and rods to rebuild his left leg. The Everett man also suffered from fractured ribs and other serious injuries.

Painter, 43, pleaded guilty on Friday to first-degree assault, hit-and-run injury accident and attempting to elude police. He acknowledged that a jury would likely convict him of the charges, but in plea paperwork he said he had no memory of the morning because he was suffering from a “severe manic episode.”

A mental health professional concluded that Painter likely was in crisis. It wasn’t enough for a complete defense but attorney Neal Friedman believes it’s grounds for a prison sentence below the standard range. He’ll ask that Painter be sentenced to five years behind bars.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Toni Montgomery won’t argue against Friedman’s request.

Painter doesn’t have any prior felony convictions. He faces up to 12 years behind bars when he’s sentenced next month.

In his plea paperwork, Painter, a military veteran, apologized for his actions. He said his mental health crisis does not absolve him of the pain he caused. He is planning to stay on his medication “so this doesn’t happen again.”

On the morning of the attack, Dulaney was checking on a friend’s property in the 9800 block of Evergreen Way. He saw a man leaving trash beside a tree and told him he would need to clean it up.

That led to an argument, and Painter grabbed a metal pipe from a Chevy Avalanche pickup and ran toward Dulaney. The suspect fell and dropped the pipe.

Painter returned to his pickup and drove at Dulaney who ran toward some nearby parked cars. Painter ran over Dulaney and collided with a parked car. Dulaney told police he was caught under the pickup’s oil pan. Painter backed up, dragging Dulaney toward the sidewalk.

Dulaney got loose and Painter drove off.

Police found paperwork and a suitcase at the base of a tree near the parking lot. It included mail and a vehicle ownership application with Painter listed as the registered owner.

An hour after the confrontation, Mukilteo firefighters found a burning bag of paperwork that included letters for Painter. Later that day, they were called to a vehicle fire. It was Painter’s Avalanche.

Nearby was a motorhome that had been broken into, and a key to a van had been stolen from inside. The van was missing. A sheriff’s deputy saw Painter in the van and another witness identified the suspect as fleeing from the van earlier in the evening.

Painter was arrested in Bothell a couple days later.

Family and friends describe Dulaney as an honest, hard-working man. Around town he’s known as Jim the Fence Guy, having built a bunch of them over the years.

Dulaney’s family started a gofundme account to help with expenses.

He and his wife posted a message about seven months ago, thanking people for their generosity.

“We found out there are a lot of truly wonderful, caring people who are willing to reach out and help someone in need. From family and friends, to people we don’t even know. There were some that reached out from the other side of the country that we didn’t even know to help us out and sending us good wishes.

“You have restored our faith in mankind. We are truly blessed,” they wrote.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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