Suspect released from jail after victim won’t cooperate

EVERETT — A man accused of shooting a former friend in the legs over a drug dispute was released from jail Monday after the victim refused to cooperate with prosecutors.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Jarett Goodkin didn’t hide his frustration Monday when he explained to a judge why he reduced a first-degree assault charge to third-degree assault.

“This is not the ideal way to resolve this case,” Goodkin said. “I would have preferred to resolve it through trial or a substantially higher charge.”

The deputy prosecutor said the victim had returned to Missouri and refused to speak with prosecutors directly. The prosecutor’s office wasn’t inclined to force his cooperation.

Dominique Sanders, 27, pleaded guilty Monday to the reduced assault charge, though he denied shooting the victim. Instead, he said he was pleading guilty because it was likely a jury or judge would find him guilty.

He was sentenced to three months in jail, the maximum term set by the state’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission. He had been in custody since his arrest in May and was released Monday night.

“I’m glad everything worked out the way it did,” Sanders told the judge.

Sanders had faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted of first-degree assault.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives were told that Sanders shot the victim May 9 inside a south Everett barbershop. The victim said the gunfire likely was motivated by an unsettled drug debt from 2015.

The victim told sheriff’s detectives he was visiting from Missouri. He was in the barbershop when Sanders came in and “casually pulled out a revolver,” Goodkin wrote in charging papers.

The victim said he lunged at Sanders, who turned his head and fired twice, according to court records.

Sanders didn’t have any prior felony convictions. He was ordered to surrender his concealed weapons permit and firearms once he was released from jail.

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

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