Two men accused of assault with a deadly weapon – but not a firearm – and the hate crime of malicious harassment, pleaded not guilty to the charges on May 20 in Klickitat County Superior Court.
The County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged both Stephen L. Campbell, 22, of Lyle, and 28-year-old Jared T. Duddles of Parkdale, Ore., with three felony counts of second-degree assault (deadly weapon) and three felony counts of malicious harassment, defined by state statute as a hate crime involving “crimes or threats motivated by bigotry, prejudice, and bias.”
Superior Court Judge Brian Altman appointed defense counsel for Campbell and Duddles, who entered not guilty pleas during Monday’s arraignment hearing. They are next scheduled to appear in court on July 15.
The charges stem from an alleged altercation on the night of May 15 outside a Seventh Street residence in Lyle, between Campbell and Duddles and three Native American residents of the community. Following their investigation, Sheriff’s deputies arrested Campbell and Duddles and booked them into the County Jail in Goldendale for charging. The two were released the next morning on personal recognizance.
According to a Sheriff’s Office news release, deputies responded on May 15 to a 9:25 p.m. “report of an individual being harassed by a group in Lyle. While deputies were en route to the scene, they were advised that a firearm had been displayed by one of the participants.”
When they arrived in Lyle, deputies contacted the reporting party and the subjects. Their investigation revealed that Campbell and Duddles had been standing on a deck outside a residence on Seventh Street and a verbal altercation allegedly ensued between the men and a group of Native Americans.
The news release alleged “racial slurs were directed at the group and the altercation escalated to a crossbow being cocked, loaded, and pointed at the group of Native Americans.” Deputies also learned that, at one point in the alleged altercation, “Campbell approached a vehicle occupied by a Native American male who displayed a firearm in order to keep Campbell away from him.”
In charging them with assault in the second degree (deadly weapon), prosecutors alleged in their information filed May 16, that Campbell and Duddles “did intentionally assault another person ... with a deadly weapon, a Barnett cross-bow ... and furthermore, at the time of the commission of the crime, the defendant or an accomplice was armed with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.”
The maximum penalty for a conviction of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon is 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine, plus restitution and assessments.
Prosecutors further allege that Campbell and Duddles “did maliciously and intentionally threaten [three individuals] because of the defendant’s perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, mental handicap, physical handicap, or sensory handicap, and did thereby place [those individuals] in reasonable fear of harm to person or property ... and at the time of the commission of the crime, the defendant or an accomplice was armed with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.”
A conviction of malicious harassment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison or a $10,000 fine, or both, plus restitution, assessments, and court costs.