Walla Walla man sentenced on assault, gun charges

Eric D. Hight pleaded guilty to firing guns inside his home and attacking his girlfriend in February.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man accused of shooting guns inside his home and assaulting his girlfriend during an argument in late February pleaded guilty this morning to four felony charges.

Eric D. Hight, 43, of 104 Fire Station Lane, entered the guilty pleas in Superior Court to second-degree assault and harassment -- both involving domestic violence, in addition to two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Hight faces a standard-range prison sentence of 33-43 months when he's sentenced later. The prosecution is recommending a 33-month term.

Officials said Hight got into a fight with his girlfriend, Myrna Notturno, on Feb. 28 and fired several rounds from a handgun into a living room wall while she was present.

At some point, Notturno was able to hide the gun, but Hight threw a metal paper towel holder at her, opening a gash on her head.

The argument progressed into the bedroom where Hight choked Notturno twice, threatened to kill her and armed himself with a rifle, reportedly firing about 10 inches above her head.

Hight -- who had been drinking alcohol -- then threw the rifle on the bed and began to destroy the wall, throwing pieces of it at Notturno, according to officials. He then reportedly started to cry and said he hated everyone and his life.

Notturno left and called police from a friend's house. Hight was arrested outside his residence that evening.

Hight is a convicted felon, therefore prohibited from possessing the firearms.

He was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation following his arrest, but was found competent for the case to proceed.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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