Man sentenced for tire iron assault at Everett ATM

Years of mental health and drug-related struggles led up Johnnie Hilliard’s actions in December 2019.

EVERETT — An Everett man must serve 4½ years behind bars for attacking a man with a tire iron at an ATM, a Snohomish County judge ruled this week.

Letters from family members recount how years of struggles with addiction and mental health issues led up to Johnnie Hilliard’s actions on Dec. 11, 2019.

Security footage showed him come up from behind a man who was using an ATM at a BECU in the 11100 block of Evergreen Way, hitting him behind the ear with enough force that he collapsed. Hilliard used the ATM, then fled when the bleeding man shakily got to his feet, according to charging papers.

The man had 61 cents in his bank account. He could hardly speak with police at the hospital. Doctors used staples to close his head wound.

Police caught up to Hilliard about a week later. He admitted to the assault in an interview with Everett detectives.

Court records state Hilliard, now 27, began abusing opiates in his teens, exacerbating his mental illnesses that included hallucinations. Months before the assault, he aged out of medical coverage through his mother, leaving him unable to get into detox or inpatient treatment due to “countless obstacles related to insurance authorizations,” according to a letter submitted by a social worker to Superior Court Judge George Appel.

His family posted bond in April 2020, and with the help of a strong support system and treatment, he became a “model resident” at a local recovery home, the social worker wrote.

Hilliard pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon in October. Appel sentenced him Monday. Hilliard has already served 260 days of his time under house arrest. He must serve the remainder in prison.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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