Port Townsend: Slain man’s widow takes the witness stand in murder trial

The widow of a local man shot to death April 28 outside the Maple Grove Motel in Quilcene testified Tuesday that her life “wasn’t in danger” when Gary L. Middleton came to her aid and killed her husband.

Donna Knight, 48, who took the stand Tuesday in the first-degree murder trial of Middleton in Port Townsend, said she “wasn’t afraid” or “threatened” by her husband, Douglas A. Knight, the night he was shot to death in the motel parking lot.

Mrs. Knight had been staying at the motel on Maple Grove Road to avoid her husband, who had a history of domestic violence, court records show.

“I wasn’t afraid,” Mrs. Knight said during the second day of the jury trial. “I don’t remember him being threatening. I was irritated.”

Mrs. Knight’s assertions were bitterly contested by defense attorney Craddock Verser, who confronted her with a transcript of an interview she had previously with sheriff’s Detective Sherie Dills and an audio tape of the 9-1-1 call she made just prior to the shooting.

Mrs. Knight told detectives she was “paralyzed with fear” when her husband arrived at the motel and felt “as if she was being held hostage.”

And during the 9-1-1 call, she told dispatchers “my husband is harassing me . . . threatening me,” records show.


The rest of this story appears in the Wednesday Peninsula Daily News Jefferson County edition. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

More in News

Mark Willis enjoys a day at the beach with granddaughter Bryn in 2020. (Willis/Harrington family)
Former Sequim schools administrator recovering after strokes

The family of a fixture of Sequim schools is raising… Continue reading

Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro.
Work plan for Port Townsend lacks workers

Staffing, bidding a challenge

Armacost’s cross prompts vote to blur backgrounds

Virtual meetings to follow in-person rules

Nearly 100 hospital workers kept home

Employees either exposed or tested positive

Clallam County seeks volunteers for boards, committees

Clallam County is seeking volunteers to fill 102 vacancies… Continue reading

Seattle students rally for stronger COVID-19 safety protocols at schools

About 100 Seattle students gathered outside the Seattle Public Schools… Continue reading

Dismissed Kennewick fire chief sues alleging racial discrimination

A former Kennewick fire chief is suing the southeast Washington… Continue reading

Most Read