Man subject of manhunt charged with four felonies

Three more to follow next week

PORT ANGELES – A Sequim man captured Thursday night after a two-day manhunt was charged Friday afternoon with assault and motor vehicle theft and is scheduled to be charged on Wednesday with arson.

David R. Burgess, 40, was charged Friday with second-degree assault strangulation—domestic violence, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, harassment (threats to kill) and theft of a motor vehicle.

The assault charges and motor vehicle theft charge are Class B felonies, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. The harassment charge is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

He will be arraigned on those charges at 9 a.m. Jan. 12 in Clallam County Superior Court. Total bail on those charges was set at $170,000.

Burgess also will appear in court at 1 p.m. Wednesday, when prosecutors plan to charge him with first-degree arson, second-degree arson and second-degree assault.

Bail on those planned charges was set at $250,000.

Judge Simon Barnhart allowed the separation of charges, saying he found there was probable cause for Burgess’s arrest on those charges and that prosecutors could file them formally later.

“All the activity circles around him being upset with his girlfriend, pursuing her and causing damage as he goes. He is a very, very, high risk to safety,” said Jesse Espinoza, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, told Judge Simon Barnhart in requesting the high bail amounts.

“He has a pretty long history of not showing up to court,” Espinoza said. “The facts of this case are pretty egregious. The threats to kill are alarming.”

Espinoza also said the court should note that Burgess already was subject to conditions of release for two earlier cases, second-degree malicious and fourth degree assault, which occurred Nov. 25. The court ordered Burgess released on Dec. 13 based in part upon his promise to undergo drug and alcohol treatment.

“The state objected to his release for treatment. He cannot be trusted in the community,” Espinoza said.

Public defender Harry Gasnick said the bail amounts were too high for a person found to be indigent. Barnhart agreed to reduce the bail on the pending assault charge and arson charges from $500,000 to $250,000 but left the other amounts alone, reducing the total from $570,000 to $420,000.

The court session was interrupted when Burgess began yelling that he was innocent and his family was being torn apart based upon the word of a couple of drug dealers.

Barnhart paused the session until Burgess could be escorted back to the jail and the session could resume over Zoom.

Burgess also refused to sign his acknowledgment of rights and other routine documents, instead writing “I am innocent” above the signature line. Barnhart said he would enter a signature on Burgess’s behalf.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at Brian.Gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

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