PASCO — A Yakima man's plea for a shorter prison sentence along with help for his drug addiction swayed a Franklin County judge Tuesday.
Donny Seal, 34, was facing a sentencing range of four years and three months to five years and eight months, but he asked Judge Craig Matheson to give him the Special Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, or DOSA.
Under the program, Seal will serve about two years and six months and receive help for his addiction.
"I think a DOSA sentencing is appropriate. I think he's got a lot of qualities where he could do well ... and it's better for the community if you do," Matheson said. "Hopefully, you'll come out and be the man you could be."
Franklin County Deputy Prosecutor Tim Dickerson opposed the special drug sentencing because of Seal's extensive criminal history and the sophistication of the crime.
Seal pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree burglary and first-degree possession of stolen property.
Under the plea deal, Dickerson agreed to drop the gross misdemeanor charge of possessing burglary tools and agreed to let Seal request the DOSA.
Seal was arrested by Pasco police in August 2010 after he was stopped while pulling a trailer with two stolen four-wheelers, court documents said.
Seal told police he had just picked up the four-wheelers and was being paid to deliver them to a store in Walla Walla. He said he was told they weren't stolen, but suspected they were, documents said.
He also admitted to breaking into SS Equipment to try to steal property a few days before his arrest.
Defense attorney Karla Kane said her client's criminal history involved property crimes committed to support his drug habit, but he never got treatment during his previous stints in prison.
Seal was, however, trying to get himself clean for a while, getting a job as a heavy equipment mechanic and trying to build a life to support his two sons, she said.
She said he slipped back into old habits, however, because he never got the help to stay clean.
"I think that's the missing link," Kane said. "It's still a substantial sentence. He's either going to get it together or go back to prison."
If Seal doesn't complete treatment, he will have to go back to prison to serve out his sentence.
Matheson told Seal that he has to take advantage of the treatment that will be offered to him and not miss one day.
"Mr. Seal, the community needs men who work and take care of their families and obey the law," he said. "Anything less than that tears the community down."
Pasco man admits that he held wife against her will
PASCO — A 27-year-old Pasco man admitted he held his wife against her will during an argument at their apartment in October.
Alejandro Arriaza pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to domestic violence-related unlawful imprisonment.
He is expected to be sentenced in January.
Arriaza was arrested by Pasco police Oct. 21 after preventing his 26-year-old wife from leaving their apartment and allegedly threatening her with a machete.
The woman said she tried to run out of the apartment twice, but Arriaza grabbed her in a hug both times to bring her back inside, documents said.
Arriaza reportedly got frightened after a man his wife was talking to sent a text message that he was outside, then called Arriaza to tell him to let the woman leave, documents said.
Arriaza got a machete from his room, giving his wife a chance to run out the front door, but he pulled her back inside, documents said.
When officers arrived, they kicked in the door and found Arriaza holding the machete over his head, documents said.
Pasco man sentenced to almost 3 years in prison
PASCO — A 57-year-old Pasco man will spend nearly three years in prison for running from police in a stolen vehicle and hitting a patrol car.
Christopher John Quandt pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to attempt to elude police, possessing a stolen vehicle and second-degree assault.
He admitting driving a car he knew was stolen on Oct. 31 in Pasco and failing to stop when police tried to pull him over.
But Quandt continued to deny that he intentionally assaulted an officer when he hit the patrol car, but entered an Alford plea of guilty to the charge.
An Alford plea means Quandt maintained his innocence but believed prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
Officers strategically had hit Quandt's car to stop the slow-speed chase through downtown Pasco, but after stopping briefly, Quandt tried to drive between two cruisers that had blocked him in, police and court documents said.
Quandt hit one of the cars, causing the officer inside to hit her head.
Quandt told Judge Matheson that he got his act together about a decade ago but got back into trouble a couple of years ago after "a work-related injury let pain medications get a hold of me."
He said he had "nine glorious years" of being clean and he hoped to get back there again.
Matheson gave Quandt a bottom-range sentence of two years and nine months in prison.
Pasco man sentenced for indecent liberties
PASCO — A 28-year-old Pasco man could be sentenced to nearly 3 1/2 years in prison for having sexual contact with a young girl.
Rodolfo Benito Gutierrez, however, could get a shorter sentence with court-ordered treatment if he qualifies for a special sex offender sentencing alternative.
Gutierrez pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to two counts of indecent liberties. The charge was reduced from one count of second-degree child rape as part of a plea agreement.
Gutierrez admitted to having sexual contact with the preteen girl twice in June.
He was arrested after the girl told a counselor she had sex with Gutierrez at a Pasco park, court documents said.
Child Protective Services reported the allegation to Pasco police, documents said.
Gutierrez is being held without bail, pending sentencing, which was set for Jan. 31.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend the special sex offender sentencing alternative, if Gutierrez qualified.
If approved by a judge, Gutierrez would get a six-month sentence and be ordered to complete sex offender treatment.
-- Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org