Man sentenced for pointing gun at officer

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WALLA WALLA — A Benton City man has been handed a time-served sentence for pointing a loaded handgun at a Walla Walla police officer in 2011 while seemingly delusional.

Paul Anderson, 64, was ordered Monday afternoon to serve 51 days in the Walla Walla County Jail, and was given credit for that amount he spent before being released pending the outcome of his case.

He faced up to 90 days by pleading guilty June 5 to third-degree assault. But in imposing the time-served sentence, Superior Court Judge Pro Tem Mike Mitchell went along with a prosecution recommendation included in a plea agreement.

Mitchell also placed Anderson on a year of community custody and ordered him to pay a total of $2,584 in restitution, court costs and fees.

Before sentencing it was revealed in court that Anderson — who has no criminal history — was suffering effects of incorrect medications when he committed the crime. He is under the care of a physician and psychiatrist.

He apologized profusely at Monday’s hearing, telling Mitchell he’s always respected law enforcement and is “haunted” by what could have happened.

“Every day I think about it,” Anderson said.

He was arrested Sept. 13, 2011, after police were called to the 100 block of Bryant Avenue about 5:40 a.m. for a report of a man with a gun trying to get into a residence.

When Officer Kathy Loney arrived, she saw Anderson crouched behind a vehicle parked in a carport, pointing the gun directly at her, according to a police report filed in court. Hearing a sound she believed was the clicking of the trigger being pulled back, Loney jumped behind a different vehicle and alerted another officer.

Anderson — who was telling officers to watch out for a girl in the vehicle and for snipers on the roof — put the gun down and was apprehended.

The resident told police Anderson had driven up in a motor home, got out with the gun and warned of people trying to kill him. Anderson then started beating on the resident’s door, perhaps attempting to force his way in, the police report says.

Anderson underwent a mental evaluation by Eastern State Hospital staff from Medical Lake after his arrest to determine his competency for the case against him to proceed. He subsequently was found to be competent.

He initially was charged with first-degree assault, which was reduced to third-degree in exchange for his guilty plea.

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