Sequim man claims self-defense; assault trial to begin Jan. 9

PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man charged for firing a semi-automatic handgun at a South Barr Road resident and pointing the weapon at another man last February will soon have his day in court.

Keith Roberson, 55, will claim self-defense in a one-week trial that begins Jan. 9, court papers said.

He is charged with first- and second-degree assault while armed with a firearm.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson fired the gun at a South Barr Road resident at about 2 a.m. last Feb. 17, missing the man by about 8 feet.

Roberson allegedly entered a residence and pointed the gun at another man, saying, “If I’m going out, I’m not going out alone,” according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Roberson has maintained his innocence. He rejected plea offers from the state.

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

The state’s exhibit list includes a recording of a 9-1-1 call that a South Barr Road resident made during the early-morning incident.

According to findings of facts from a Tuesday evidentiary hearing, officers found an armed Roberson in the carport of a double-wide trailer on the 300 block of South Barr Road.

“The defendant appeared to be highly agitated and afraid,” according to documents filed in Superior Court.

During a tense exchange, Roberson twice placed the gun on a washing machine in the carport and picked it back up, causing Deputy Ralph Edgington to retreat and take cover, documents said.

Roberson eventually stepped several feet away from the weapon and complied with officers.

Edgington advised Roberson of his Miranda rights while he was being evaluated at Olympic Medical Center prior to his booking, according to the findings of fact.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Christopher Melly concluded Friday that verbal statements Roberson made to law enforcement officers would be admissible at trial.

The trial is expected to take three to four days to complete, court papers said.

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

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