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Case Number: 1:22-cr-2066
Judge: Mary K. Dimke
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Yakima County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Yakima
Description: Yakima, Washington criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with Unlawful User of Controlled Substances and Person Convicted of Domestic Violence in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition.
On December 16, 2021, James Duane Deckard, age 25, of Yakima, Washington, was involved in a domestic dispute where Deckard pointed a firearm at his intimate partner. On December 18, 2021, officers with the Yakima Police Department attempted to stop Deckard’s vehicle. Deckard accelerated and attempted to elude law enforcement through Yakima, eventually colliding with a fire engine. Deckard then ran from the vehicle and was apprehended. Deckard’s intimate partner – who had been inside the vehicle – alerted officers that Deckard had thrown an item out of the car while driving by a park. Officers responded to Raymond Park where they located a firearm, which was later found to have Deckard’s DNA. Various rounds of ammunition were recovered from Deckard’s vehicle as well as a substantial amount of marijuana. When detained, Deckard made statements indicating that Deckard was a user of methamphetamine. Deckard had previously been convicted of a domestic violence assault against his intimate partner.
After Deckard was sentenced, United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref stated, “Through our Safe Homes, Safe Community Initiative, we are protecting families and preventing firearm homicides perpetrated by those who have a history of domestic violence and unlawfully possess firearms. When there is a gun in a house that has a domestic abuser, the risk of violence increases significantly. Indeed, Offenders with a history of domestic violence that possess firearms are five times more likely to kill their partners. Abusers also use firearms to inflict fear, intimidation, and coercive control. By keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, our communities are safer and stronger.”
“The combination of domestic violence, drugs and firearms is not a good strategy for success,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson. “Once he completes his sentence, Mr. Deckard will still be relatively young. We are hopeful that as a result of the prosecution in this case, Mr. Deckard can make the necessary changes in his life to become a positive member of the community on his release.”
Chief Matthew Murray, Chief of Police for the Yakima Police Department commended the corroborative work of law enforcement to bring justice in this case. Chief Murray stated, "I applaud the work of both the ATF and U.S. Attorney in this case. They are strong partners in Yakima’s effort to combat domestic violence in our community. These prosecutions were the proactive concept of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and I believe send a strong message that acts of domestic violence will not be tolerated.
This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Yakima Police Department, and the Washington State Patrol. This case was prosecuted by Michael J. Ellis, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 48 months in prison.