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.

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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.

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