A 54-year-old Copalis Beach man accused of assaulting a woman who said she was held hostage after a domestic violence attack in August 2021 won’t proceed to trial next week as …
A 54-year-old Copalis Beach man accused of assaulting a woman who said she was held hostage after a domestic violence attack in August 2021 won’t proceed to trial next week as planned.
During a brief hearing Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court, Judge Keith Harper agreed to strike the trial date of Oct. 10 for Dewane Orville Skinner.
Skinner was also arraigned on amended charges during his court appearance Friday.
He is facing accusations of second-degree assault (domestic violence), unlawful imprisonment (domestic violence), interfering with reporting domestic violence, and violation of a protection or restraining order (domestic violence).
Skinner pleaded “not guilty” to all four charges.
Jack Range, an attorney representing Skinner as a public defender, said Skinner was hoping to get a new lawyer before the trial.
“Mr. Skinner continues to save to hire a private counsel; that’s his desire,” Range told the judge.
“If you are thinking of hiring your own lawyer, you need to do that as soon as possible,” Harper told the defendant.
Skinner was arrested in the summer of 2021 after a crisis-response worker at Dove House reported getting a text message from a woman who said she was being held hostage by a man who had been served with a no-contact order.
Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Skinner’s north Port Townsend home, and the woman was sent a text message saying to leave the residence if she could.
When the woman stepped out, she told them that Skinner had moved back into a motorhome on the property, and had assaulted her multiple times the night before.
Deputies noted bruising on the woman’s arms, and the woman said she had tried to escape after the assault to report the attacks, but that Skinner wouldn’t let her go. She said he dragged her back to the motorhome by her hair.
The woman also told authorities that Skinner had hidden her phone so she couldn’t call for help, and held both his hands over her nose and mouth during the attacks, which made her fear for her life because she couldn’t breathe.
The woman found her phone under the couch the next morning, and sent text messages for help in case Skinner was listening outside, according to court documents.
Officers called Skinner and asked him to come out of his motorhome, and when he did, he allegedly told law enforcement he tried to stop the woman from leaving because he knew she would report him to authorities.
Skinner’s trial date had earlier been set for April but was postponed in March.
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