Mill Creek man sentenced for near-drowning of ex-girlfriend

William Pool III was first charged with attempted murder. He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault.

MILL CREEK — A man accused of strangling and nearly drowning his ex-girlfriend in a puddle near a Mill Creek gas station has been sentenced to 29 months in prison.

William Pool III, 40, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and harassment.

Originally he was charged with attempted second-degree murder.

During the morning of June 13, 2020, Mill Creek police arrived at the gas station to find a woman soaking wet with grass and debris on her clothes, face and hair, according to charging papers. She was bleeding from cuts on her fingers, and she had a black eye, a scratch on her swollen cheek and red marks around her neck.

The woman reported that her ex-boyfriend, Pool, tried to kill her about three blocks away, in the 13500 block of 35th Avenue SE, so she stabbed him to get away.

Pool was nearby, crawling on the ground, moaning. He struggled to breathe. Officers noted a single stab wound on his left side under his armpit. He was given aid and transported to a hospital.

According to the woman, her ex-boyfriend had invited her to his tent to talk. He reportedly became angry and began threatening her when they talked about their child. He refused to let the woman leave his tent, and attacked her if she tried escaping, according to charging papers.

They were in the tent for four hours, the woman reported. During that time, she saw a knife, and slipped it into the right sleeve of her jacket in case she needed it.

When Pool put his head into his hands, the woman tried to get out one last time.

Pool chased after her, and caught up to the woman near a gravel road. He allegedly pulled her down into the water and mud and repeatedly punched her in the face, according to her account. He tried to strangle her again, and shoved her face into a puddle. She said she tried fighting back, but she couldn’t breathe. She began to feel dizzy and like her “life was going,” she told the investigating officer.

The woman reported she maneuvered to her side so she could breathe, took out the knife and stabbed Pool.

Talking to police, the woman maintained that it was self-defense.

At first Pool reported they were arguing over a scratch ticket that was a $10 winner when his ex-girlfriend stabbed him. He told police had had no idea how his ex-girlfriend became injured, and said she must have “done it to herself” after she ran away.

As part of court proceedings, a mental health evaluation was ordered for Pool. Court documents suggest he may have had a traumatic brain injury and a possible intellectual disability.

In March, a judge determined Pool was competent to stand trial. He pleaded guilty a month later.

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

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