Zachary Madding, pictured here in 2018, was accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo motel, to force Xanax down her throat and fentanyl into her nose. A jury found him guilty Friday. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)

Zachary Madding, pictured here in 2018, was accused of holding down his ex-girlfriend at a Mukilteo motel, to force Xanax down her throat and fentanyl into her nose. A jury found him guilty Friday. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)

Everett man found guilty in Mukilteo fentanyl attack

A jury convicted Zachary Madding of second-degree assault for forcing his ex-girlfriend to overdose.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a jury cleared Zachary Madding of any assault charges. In fact, the jury found him guilty of a lesser charge, second-degree assault. This story has been updated with the correct information.

EVERETT — An Everett man was found guilty Friday of shoving Xanax down his ex-girlfriend’s throat and spraying fentanyl up her nose at a Mukilteo hotel.

Prosecutors originally charged Zachary Madding with first-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment, but the jury convicted him of the lesser crime of second-degree assault.

Madding let out a sigh as Judge Bruce Weiss read the verdict aloud in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Witnesses, including the woman’s current boyfriend, testified this week that they saw her run out of the Staybridge Suites hotel crying, her face flushed. She claimed Madding had forced her to ingest more drugs than she could handle.

She collapsed in an overdose. A bystander, who happened to be a nurse, tended to her as a hotel employee dialed 911.

Meanwhile, Madding and the current boyfriend brawled near the front doors of the hotel. Her boyfriend said he was able to pin Madding against a bench. Mukilteo police soon arrived, and an officer revived the woman with naloxone, an antidote for opioid overdoses.

Police initially booked Madding into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of attempted murder. He was eventually charged with lesser crimes.

At question during the trial was what happened in the hotel room, where only Madding and the woman were present.

Testifying this week, the woman said Madding had become angry with her when she said she was going to leave. He crushed up some Xanax and held his hand over her mouth until she swallowed, she said. When she attempted to spit some out, he picked the Xanax up and put it back into her mouth.

Then, the woman said, he took a bottle with a mixture of fentanyl and water and sprayed it up her nose. She counted eight squirts, she said in court earlier in the week.

Defense attorney Natalie Tarantino argued there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Madding. The woman had been addicted to drugs for years and suggested she may have willingly taken the fentanyl and Xanax, Tarantino said.

The woman had reason to lie, Tarantino said. She reportedly was trying to get clean, and her boyfriend was supportive of that goal.

But “she decided to use drugs again, and she decided it had to be someone else’s fault,” Tarantino said during opening statements on Tuesday.

Deputy prosecutor Teresa Cox called Madding manipulative, alleging that he resorted to assaulting the woman when he found no other way to keep her from leaving.

“He did the only thing that he could to make sure she wasn’t going anywhere,” Cox said.

The jury’s verdict arrived with a one-hour hiccup Friday afternoon.

When Weiss polled the jury, one juror said he thought Madding was guilty of first-degree assault, even though the jury foreperson indicated that the not-guilty decision for that charge was unanimous.

Weiss briefly considered the possibility of declaring a hung jury. Then he polled the jurors again.

This time, the conflicted juror said Madding was not guilty of first-degree assault.

The jurors unanimously agreed, however, to convict him of second-degree assault.

Madding smiled as he was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs Friday. He remained in custody with bail set at $500,000.

His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 23.

This week marked the second time the case went to trial.

In May, Weiss called a mistrial when a Mukilteo police officer made an error in his testimony.

Madding faces another trial on two more charges related to the case — forgery and making a false statement to a public servant — as early as next month.

He also was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges in March.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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