Port Angeles assault suspect to undergo competency restoration

PORT ANGELES — Derek A. Darling, who allegedly fired a gun at a neighbor’s house and resisted arrest last July, will undergo competency restoration in the coming weeks, a Clallam County prosecutor said.

Darling, 40, of Port Angeles is charged with first- and second-degree assault with firearm and law enforcement enhancements for the July 24 incidents near his residence on Mountain Home Road southeast of Port Angeles.

Chief Criminal Deputy Michele Devlin said in a Friday court hearing that Darling will go to Western State Hospital for competency restoration treatment at the end of November or in early December, court papers said.

A previous evaluation found that Darling lacks the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and to assist in his own defense as a result of his schizophrenia.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly signed an order for Darling’s competency restoration Aug. 24.

A review hearing was set for Dec. 7.

Darling is being held in the Clallam County jail on $250,000 bail.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Darling shot a half dozen rounds with a bolt-action rifle at a nearby home that was under construction, leaving a visible mark on a propane tank with one bullet, on July 24.

The owner of the home was treated for injuries he sustained from broken glass when a window was shot out, sheriff’s Sgt. Amy Bundy said in the affidavit for probable cause.

Darling allegedly told officers that he was “angry enough that he wanted to kill that guy,” Bundy said.

When Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cortani arrived, Darling allegedly pointed the rifle at the lawman from the end of a driveway. Cortani drew his sidearm and took cover behind his vehicle before Darling walked back to his residence, Bundy said.

Darling allegedly resisted arrest when Deputy Paul Federline attempted to detain him, Bundy said. Cortani used a Taser to subdue Darling and Federline placed him into handcuffs, Bundy said.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.

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