OLYMPIA, Wash. — A man who threw acid on a Thurston County judge at his home was sentenced Wednesday to more than 14 years in prison.
Michael E. Martin, 36, had pleaded guilty last month to charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and malicious mischief for the attack on District Judge Brett Buckley when he answered the door at his home on Sept. 10, 2012, the Olympian reported (http://bit.ly/2e8pE1c).
Buckley was present in the courtroom Wednesday and spoke of the toll the attack had taken on his family. He and his two dogs sustained chemical burns, and the sulfuric acid caused about $30,000 in damage to the family’s home. He and his wife ultimately sold their home of 27 years.
Buckley had previously granted a domestic violence protection order against Martin that was sought from an ex-girlfriend. Police, who learned that the FBI was investigating Martin for threatening to kill an Army lawyer, found “to do” lists on Martin’s phone related to getting battery acid and finding out the name of his judge.
Martin also pleaded guilty to those charges in 2013 and was dishonorably from the Army, according to court documents. After serving his sentence in the federal case, he was booked into the Thurston County jail, where he awaited resolution of the Thurston County case.
“Judges should not have to live in fear that a decision they make would lead to an attack on them and their families,” Buckley said. “We, the citizens of this country, do not want judges having to consider the calculus of personal safety when determining how to resolve a case.”
At Wednesday’ hearing, Martin said that he had no intention of killing Buckley or even hurting him, but wanted to scare him. He argued that Buckley’s no-contact order led to unfair treatment by his superiors in the Army, an eventual court martial and his dishonorable discharge.
“You are not the victim, you are the perpetrator,” Judge Pro Tempore Toni Sheldon reminded him.
Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com