By EMRY DINMAN
EPHRATA - A Warden man was convicted Tuesday on four of five charges in connection with a 2018 shooting at a Moses Lake park and the subsequent bribing of a witness.
Zachary Skone, 21, was found guilty of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and attempting to bribe a witness. The jury found Skone not guilty of a first-degree robbery charge. The charges could carry up to a 23-year prison sentence.
The charges relate to a January 2018 shooting at Montlake Park in Moses Lake. The victim in the shooting, an 18-year-old male, was reportedly at the park to sell a bottle of prescription cough syrup to Skone and Gabriel Ruiz Balderas, who was 17 at the time.
The victim’s girlfriend told a Moses Lake police detective when they arrived at the park there was a white, single-cab pickup truck in the parking lot. The victim allegedly got out to contact Ruiz Balderas, at which time his girlfriend claims “someone (Skone) came out of the bushes and shot multiple times,” according to court documents.
Though Ruiz Balderas was also originally charged in the case, the charges were later dropped. Ruiz Balderas was arrested in February in connection with a January 2019 drive-by shooting, and in his court filings detectives noted another victim of Ruiz Balderas and Skone. The two had at some point allegedly robbed Hunter Grant for prescription pills.
Court records show that Grant, who was arrested on unrelated second-degree assault charges, allegedly passed on a message from Skone to the shooting victim offering $10,000 if the victim refused to testify against Skone. Skone was convicted Tuesday of attempted bribery of a witness for the incident.