Victim’s friend charged in fatal shooting

COUPEVILLE – Island County prosecutors have filed murder and assault charges against a Camano Island man whom they allege shot and killed a Stanwood man last week.

Island County prosecutor Greg Banks charged Huey P. Ford, 65, with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the shooting death July 26 of Mahlon H. Gane Jr., 55, in Ford’s Camano Island home.

Gane had not been identified until now because county officials had a difficult time locating his family to notify them, Banks said.

Island County sheriff’s deputies allege that Ford admitted shooting Gane after an argument escalated, according to court documents. Deputies reported that Ford said Gane had been a close friend for more than 10 years, according to the documents.

Ford allegedly told police the argument stemmed from his belief that Gane had purposely poisoned his lawn, according to court documents. Ford alleged that Gane had called him a racial epithet and threw a pillow at him, according to the documents.

Ford allegedly told police he then shot at Gane. After a struggle in which Ford fell out of his wheelchair, Ford allegedly shot Gane more than once with two different handguns, according to the court documents.

Gane appeared to have been shot multiple times, although the county coroner has not determined an official cause of death, Banks said. Prosecutors are still awaiting police and autopsy reports, Banks said.

Ford is being held in jail on $250,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in Island County Superior Court on Aug. 12. The crimes he is accused of carry sentences ranging from 15 to 23 years.

Reporter Scott Morris: 425-339-3292 or

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