Walla Walla man pleads innocent to shooting guns, assaulting girlfriend

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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 innocent Monday afternoon to five felony charges.

Eric D. Hight, 43, of 104 Fire Station Lane, is scheduled for trial July 7 and 8 in Superior Court on charges of first-degree assault, harassment, second degree malicious mischief -- all involving domestic violence, and two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Hight allegedly 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, according to a police report filed in court.

The argument progressed into the bedroom where Hight allegedly choked Notturno twice, threatened to kill her and armed himself with a rifle. "Notturno stated Hight raised the rifle about 10 inches above her head and fired the gun inside the bedroom," the police report says.

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.

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

He was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation following his arrest. Judge Donald W. Schacht signed an order Monday finding Hight competent to stand trial, based on a report by Eastern State Hospital personnel.

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