Assault charge in Oakville chase


An Oakville man is charged with assault after allegedly chasing a man, accused of raping his daughter, around town brandishing a pistol.

William F. Henry, 61, pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault in Grays Harbor Superior Court on Monday. His alleged victim, William Palmer, 43, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree domestic violence rape.

According to court documents, Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s deputies contacted Palmer Sept. 9 about a display of a weapon.

Palmer told deputies he was walking down Harris Avenue in Oakville at about 12:30 a.m. when Henry pulled up behind him in a pickup truck, pulled a baseball bat from the truck bed and walked toward him. Palmer said he ran away, and when he turned back, he alleged Henry was pointing a dark-colored handgun at him. He hid in a shed until Henry drove away.

Palmer claimed the just before 8 a.m. the same morning, he again encountered Henry on Harris Avenue, where Henry skidded to a stop in his truck. Palmer alleged Henry got out, holding a gun, looking “really pissed,” according to court documents.

A homeowner witnessed the altercation and said she saw Henry with a gun and heard Palmer say, “Bill, put the gun down,” as he ran away, the documents said.

She told deputies Henry came over shortly after and “told her that she did not have to be afraid.”

An aluminum bat and a wooden club were found in Henry’s truck, as well as three .357 Magnum rounds that were found in the cup holder.

Palmer told deputies Henry had threatened to kill him since he began dating Henry’s daughter, but the daughter told police she had been sexually assaulted by Palmer the night before. Rape charges were subsequently filed against Palmer, and his trial is set for Nov. 13.

In interviews with deputies, Henry denied pointing a gun at Palmer.

“The defendant stated that he would have put his hands around Palmer’s throat and popped his head off,” court documents stated.

He allegedly added, “if the sheriff’s deputies would have just stayed in Montesano eating doughnuts, he would have taken care of the matter.”

Henry’s attorney, Chris Crew of Elma, filed a motion requesting the charges against Henry be dismissed because he was not arraigned at a hearing last week. The arraignment was scheduled, but didn’t happen because Crew was not in court.

Asked why he missed the hearing, Crew said he wasn’t feeling well and was under the impression he didn’t need to be present.

“You’re filing a motion asking the charges be dismissed because he wasn’t arraigned last week?” Judge Dave Edwards asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Crew said.

“And why wasn’t he arraigned last week?” Edwards said.

“Because I wasn’t here, I won’t deny that,” Crew said.

Edwards denied the motion and fined Crew $100 for filing a frivolous motion and $150 for missing last week’s hearing.

Palmer is held in Grays Harbor County Jail with $75,000 bail.

Brionna Friedrich: 360-537-3933 or bfriedrich@thedailyworld.com and @DW_Brionna on Twitter.