OKANOGAN — After getting shot in the stomach by his father last October, a 22-year-old Pateros man asked for and got leniency for his dad, who pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in Okanogan County Superior Court last week.
Derik R. Darlington, 51, was sentenced to four years in prison on June 10 — about half of the low end of a standard range for the crime. Prosecutor Karl Sloan said Weldon Darlington’s request was a major reason he agreed to recommend the exceptionally low sentence.
According to a police report filed with the charges, the two Darlingtons were arguing on the evening of Oct. 30, when Derik Darlington brought out a gun and fired it at his son.
Sloan said Weldon had gone to his father’s house the day after Robert Darlington — Derik’s father and Weldon’s grandfather — had passed away. He said both men had been drinking and arguing over nothing specific when Weldon Darlington threw a glass against the wall. He was cleaning up the glass when his father shot him, Sloan said.
Weldon Darlington was taken to Central Washington Hospital after making his way to his grandparents’ house a few blocks away.
“He has, fortunately, and somewhat miraculously, recovered,” said Sloan, adding that the bullet entered and exited through the front part of Darlington’s body, and did not hit any major organs.
He said he agreed to the low sentence based partly on the son’s request.
Under standard sentencing guidelines, Darlington faced between 93 and 123 months in prison — which translates in years to between 7 years and 9 months, and 10 years and 3 months in prison.
“Surprisingly enough, he didn’t have any ill will,” Sloan said of the son’s reaction to being shot by his father. “From our conversations, he would have liked even less time. His attitude, really, was, he wanted to get on with his life.”
The prosecutor also agreed to dismiss a deadly weapons enhancement. In addition to his prison sentence, Darlington was sentenced to three years of community custody, must undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and cannot have contact with his son.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512