The Chronicle | Serving Lewis County, WA Since 1889

OPINION: Case of Man Fleeing Court Brings Questions

Our Views: Case of Man Fleeing Court Brings Questions 

By The Chronicle | 

On Wednesday, Adna resident Phillip A. Pinotti was dealt a light sentence of time served after drawing gunfire from a Centralia Municipal Court officer while fleeing arrest in December.

The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office has been forthright in its handling of the case, with Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer explaining that the evidence showed Pinotti was attempting to flee the scene, not strike the officer with his vehicle.

He was originally charged with first-degree assault, an allegation that carries a sentence of up to life in prison and implies an intent to cause great bodily harm.

The charge was later reduced to misdemeanor obstructing after further investigation.
Taken together, the facts are disconcerting.

To an outside observer, it seems the prosecutor’s office has ruled there was no intent by Pinotti to cause harm, but the officer — Steve Howard — was still acting lawfully when he fired his weapon.

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