The man accused of shooting a Port Townsend man in the face with an airsoft gun during an alleged kidnapping last November has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and changed his pleading to guilty …
The man accused of shooting a Port Townsend man in the face with an airsoft gun during an alleged kidnapping last November has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and changed his pleading to guilty in Jefferson County Superior Court.
Zachary James Barbee was arrested in early March along with three others for allegedly kidnapping, assaulting, drugging, robbing, and torturing an acquaintance they thought had stolen things from a friend’s home in November 2020.
Barbee was the last of the four to reach a plea deal; Guiseppe Donato Glanz , the other remaining defendant also recently changed his pleading to guilty and was sentenced to prison.
Barbee was facing charges of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree assault after the victim in the case came forward in late February to give police details on the alleged crimes.
Attorneys earlier announced they had come to an agreement for Barbee to enter a pleading of guilty to second-degree assault and second-degree kidnapping.
Prosecutors, with the agreement of Barbee’s attorney, have recommended that Barbee serve seven years in prison.
During a Sept. 24 appearance in Jefferson County Superior Court, Barbee said he was changing his pleading. His sentencing was set back so Barbee could have time to think about what he wanted to say.
Judge Keith Harper then read aloud Barbee’s statement on his plea of guilty: “On Nov. 10, 2020 in Jefferson County, I intentionally shot [the victim] with an airsoft gun. Though it was not my intent to shoot him in the eye, that is where the pellet hit him, causing him significant pain and a partial loss of eyesight. In shooting him, I disregarded a substantial risk that this type of harm could occur.”
In his statement, Barbee also admitted to joining with others to restrain the victim.
“Though I do not believe that I personally threatened to use deadly force as a means of restraining him, I participated as an accomplice in this act,” Barbee said in his statement.
Barbee also admitted that the crimes included “deliberate cruelty.”
SENTENCING THIS WEEK
The judge set Barbee’s sentencing for Friday, Oct. 8.
Barbee was arrested along with his son, Robert John Cuevas, and Glanz and Isaiah William Peoples-Morse for attacking an acquaintance at a home in the mobile park at 545 Hendricks St. in Port Townsend after the victim returned to the residence following a visit there earlier in the day.
The victim in the alleged kidnapping was found lying in the road on Anderson Lake Road and called 911.
The man told police he had been kidnapped, robbed, beat up, drugged, and left there by his assailants.
The investigation was stalled, however, after the victim “told the deputies that he wasn’t going to say anything because he would be killed,” according to a police report from the Port Townsend Police Department. The man broke his silence after he was later booked into Jefferson County Jail on a shoplifting charge.
He told authorities he had been visiting the home in the trailer park the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 10, but when he returned about midday he was confronted and assaulted by Glanz, Barbee, Cuevas, and Peoples-Morse.
The man said he was accused of stealing from the group, and they beat him for hours.
At one point, he said he made it to the front door and tried to escape, but was stopped and beaten again. His assailants took turns punching him in the face and ribs, he said, and added he was also hit with clubs.
His screams for help went apparently unheard by others living in the mobile home park.
AFRAID FOR HIS LIFE
The man also thought he’d be killed, because at one point, three of the men — Glanz, Barbee, and Peoples-Morse — talked about whether or not to kill him.
The victim also told police he was shot 15 to 20 times with an airsoft gun, and police found marks on his stomach and back consistent with the size of BB pellets. The victim also alleged that Barbee pointed the gun close to his face and shot him in the right eye with the BB gun as Glanz and Peoples-Morse held him down.
The man also told police his attackers cut off his long hair, which was waist length, and shoved the hair into his mouth. He said he was also burned with cigarettes, stripped of his clothes, and forced to put on different clothes, and put in the bed of a truck where he was driven around for a while before he was eventually dumped off about 8 miles away from the home where he was assaulted.
He later told police he was “told to keep his mouth shut, or else,” according to court documents.
Two others in the kidnapping and torture case reached plea deals with prosectors earlier this year.
Cuevas changed his pleading to guilty in July and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Peoples-Morse, changed his pleading to guilty
July 16 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Glanz reached a plea deal with prosecutors just days before Barbee.
He changed his pleading to guilty on charges of unlawful imprisonment, second-degree assault with deliberate cruelty, and second-degree robbery with deliberate cruelty.
Glanz was sentenced Sept. 22 in Jefferson County Superior Court to 12 months on the first felony count, and 17 months on the other counts.
He will serve 17 months in prison with a year of community custody to follow.
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