Richard Hawley pleads guilty to firing shots at Stevens County Deputy…
A plea was reached in the trial of Richard L. Hawley, and sentencing was carried out Feb. 19 in Stevens County Superior Court.
Hawley was charged with attempted murder in the first degree, stemming from a Sept. 26, 2017 incident when he fired shots at Deputy Michael Swim of the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.
On that date, Hawley was reported to have fired shots with an intent to cause death at Swim while Swim and Colville Police Officer Anthony Gorst were attempting to apprehend him on possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
Hawley’s statement as part of the plea deal read “On September 26, 2017 in Stevens County, Washington, I was under the influence of what I believe to be “bath salts,” was very paranoid and fired my weapon at a police officer who was trying to approach me. I was just trying to get away.”
Hawley also contended in interviews that at the time of the shooting, he had been injecting methamphetamines for at least two days prior and later found out the meth was cut with bath salts. This caused him to lose sleep and heightened his paranoia after having ongoing drug conflicts, including being pistol-whipped. Hawley claimed he could not see who he was firing at due to the headlights of the vehicle and thought it could be dealers threatening him.
The charge carried a maximum sentence of life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine plus restitution, assessments and court costs.
As part of the plea deal, Hawley was sentenced to 400 months in prison and 36 months of community custody. Hawley would also face fines of $3,000 and would serve the sentence concurrently with charges from a separate case.
Adding to Hawley’s felony judgement and sentence was his criminal history that included more than ten charges dating back to 1991 in multiple counties across the state, including Stevens, Pierce, Kitsap, King, Spokane, and Kittitas Counties.
At the sentencing, Deputy Swim and members of his family read victim impact statements, along with Officer Gorst. Hawley also addressed the court prior to being sentenced.