Man sentenced for allegedly pointing gun at investigator

Victim was watching different house

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Local Crime News

EPHRATA - A Soap Lake man accusing of holding a private investigator at gun point was sentenced.

Robert R. Anderson, 66, entered an Alford plea to assault in the second degree, according to court records. The plea means Anderson does not feel he committed the crime, but felt he'd be convicted of the charge.

Prosecutors also charged Anderson with unlawful imprisonment. The charge was dropped before sentencing, according to court records.

Prosecutor Angus Lee stated the choice to dismiss the second count was dropped for three reasons. The first was it was not the strongest case.

"Second, this defendant was 66 years old with no criminal history who presented no significant risk of future offenses," he stated. "Third, he was pleading guilty to a strike offense and a conviction for the second count would not have guaranteed any longer sentence. In fact, if we would have gone to trial and obtained a conviction on both counts the most we could have requested on these charges would have been 12 months, that is only three months more than we requested from the court. Additionally, even with trial convictions to both counts, the court could have still imposed the same sentence it did today."

Anderson has no prior felony convictions, and faced a sentencing range of three to nine months in jail, according to court records. Prosecutors recommended a nine-month sentence.

Grant County Superior Court Judge Evan Sperline sentenced Anderson to six months in jail with three months served in home detention, according to court records.

The victim was sitting in a car in front of a Warden Avenue residence in Lakeview on Dec. 31, 2010, according to a Grant County sheriff's report. The victim, a private investigator, was watching a nearby residence when Anderson's brother approached the car. Anderson's brother lived in the residence the victim was parked in front of.

After speaking to the victim, and receiving information, Anderson's brother went back inside the residence, according to the police report. Anderson's brother reportedly realized the victim and Anderson had a confrontation when the victim worked as a Soap Lake police officer, and contacted his brother.

Anderson allegedly approached the vehicle and started yelling at the victim and pounding on the window, according to court records. The victim reached for a two-way radio to contact his partner and started rolling down his window.

Anderson reportedly reached into the car, grabbing the radio and the two men began struggling. After the victim allegedly won the struggle, he reached for pepper spray. Anderson reportedly responded by drawing a semi-automatic handgun, chambering a round and pointing it at the victim's head, according to the police report. Anderson allegedly told the victim to keep his hands on the steering wheel or he would kill the victim.

As the victim allegedly was complying, he grabbed his cell phone and called 9-1-1, according to court records. The victim's partner reportedly arrived before the police and was able to calm Anderson.

Anderson claimed the victim was at the residence to spy on him, according to the police report. He allegedly admitted to having the gun, but denied pointing it at the victim.

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