Man sentenced in confrontation at Walla Walla Safeway store

Chet T. Volkman pleaded guilty this week to several charges in connection with a confrontation at Plaza Safeway in March.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man who earlier pleaded guilty in Superior Court to a variety of charges stemming from a confrontation at the Plaza Safeway store in March was sentenced Thursday to time-served.

Chet T. Volkman, 20, faced up to a year in the County Jail. Court Commissioner Scott Wolfram sentenced Volkman to the year, gave him credit for the 97 days he'd already served since his arrest, and suspended the remaining 268 days on various conditions. The sentence was recommended by the prosecution in a plea agreement.

Wolfram also placed Volkman on two years of community custody, which is a form of probation, and ordered him to comply with mental health counseling and treatment and to pay a total of $11,168 in restitution and other court costs and fees.

Volkman pleaded guilty Monday to charges of third-degree assault, intimidating a public servant, resisting arrest, third-degree theft and minor in possession or consumption of liquor.

Officials said Volkman entered Safeway at 1600 Plaza Way about 1 a.m. on March 26 and attempted to leave with two packs of beer. He tried to hit and punch an employee when confronted at the exterior doors, which had been locked, then head-butted another employee as he was being subdued, according to authorities.

Volkman was able to flee when staff unlocked the doors for law enforcement, but was struck by a Taser in the parking lot. He also threatened to shoot officers who were at the scene.

He later underwent a mental evaluation by Eastern State Hospital personnel, who determined he was competent for the case to proceed.

Volkman initially was also charged with second-degree robbery, but that was dismissed in exchange for his guilty pleas. Also, the third-degree assault charge is a reduction from an initial charge of second-degree assault.

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

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