Murder charge upgraded for Quilcene man

PORT TOWNSEND – Jefferson County prosecutors have filed an amended charge of first-degree murder against a man who told police he shot and killed another man while intervening in a domestic dispute.

Judge Tom Majhan set bail for Gary L. Middleton Sr. at $50,000 cash Thursday.

Prosecutors said they authorized an amended charge after listening to a 911 tape made just minutes before Douglas Anthony Knight was killed.

Prosecutors initially charged Middleton, 62, of Quilcene with second-degree murder in the April 28 killing of Knight outside a Quilcene motel. Authorities said Middleton shot Knight, 45, after calling police to report that Knight was harassing his estranged wife.

Sheriff’s deputies said Middleton’s call came within two minutes of a call from Donna Knight, who had been placed at the hotel by a domestic violence agency. She said her husband had been beating on her motel room door but apparently had left.

Douglas Knight died at the scene of a single head wound from a semiautomatic pistol.

Before the end of the call, Middleton told dispatchers, “I’m out of here; I hope your sheriff gets there and saves his life,” the report said.

Randle

Elk develop a taste for news: You might say the elk outside Betty Coleman’s home are hungry for news. She’s seen them lurking near her mailbox, where The Chronicle is delivered. And while she’s never seen the elk devouring her newspaper, Coleman believes the evidence is indisputable. “We see them every night and in the morning,” she said. “You can see their little tongues have been wrapped all around the paper box. … You can see where they’ve chewed on the paper. It’s not funny when you can’t read your paper. One Saturday, it was so soaked it took all day to dry it.” State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Pat Miller, based in Longview, had never heard of elk with a taste for news. “It would be unusual for them to digest newspaper, but I don’t say ‘never’ anymore,” he said. “I’ve seen too may things that were unusual.”

Oregon

Bragging gets man an eight-year sentence: A Springfield man who burglarized a deputy sheriff’s house and made off with the officer’s gun and uniform after eating pizza out of the refrigerator was sentenced Friday to almost eight years in prison. David Alan Hutchinson, 22, was living with his parents and had a job when he committed a rash of burglaries and thefts in his Hayden Bridge neighborhood, Deputy Lane County District Attorney Erik Hasselman said in court. Hutchinson confessed to eight burglaries after a sheriff’s detective tracked him through pawn records for stolen goods. “The defendant’s downfall in this case came when he began bragging to his friends. One friend was a brother of another deputy sheriff,” Hasselman said.

Two dead in boating accident: Two occupants of a 25-foot charter fishing boat died Saturday after the boat capsized just outside the Tillamook Bay south jetty, the Coast Guard said. They were not identified pending notification of relatives. A third person survived. A Coast Guard motor life boat assigned to the area because of heavy boat use and rough bar conditions pulled two victims from the surf. Crewmen did CPR on one victim en route to the Coast Guard station at Garibaldi, without success. The third person drifted into breaking surf where the life boat could not go. A Coast Guard helicopter was diverted from a training exercise, and a rescue swimmer recovered him. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Tillamook station.

From Herald news services

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