Serious charges against three persons were resolved by guilty pleas in Superior Court last week.
Mr. David M. Ordway, 19, pleaded guilty as charged to First Degree Assault on a Child. He assaulted his 40-day old baby by shaking the child violently in a moment of temper and frustration. The child was profoundly injured and suffered brain damage incompatible with meaningful mental functioning. The child will never recover and is in hospice care.
After listening to the statements from the state, the defense and the defendant, Judge Pat Monasmith talked of the sad reality of how the lives of persons are changed forever by the lasting effects of a single bad decision. He sentenced Ordway to 120 months in prison.
Eric Booth, 26, pleaded guilty to a charge of First Degree Murder in the death of Gordon Feist of Colville last July. Jesse Felman-Shimmins, 27, pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder in that same case. Charges remain against the third person, Collette Pierce, 25. The murder occurred in the course of a burglary attempt. The three defendants knocked on Mr. Feist’s door in the night and asked for help, claiming they were out of gas. Mr. Feist was shot by Eric Booth as he was taking the three back to their car in his ATV with some gas. Judge Monasmith sentenced Eric Booth to the maximum term-- 320 months in prison and Jesse Felman-Shimmins to 300 months.
Eric Booth wept at his plea and sentencing and expressed remorse for what he had done. He said many times he wished he could take that moment back. But Judge Monasmith is right. A moment of wrong thinking can be followed by a lifetime of regret and suffering. There is no way to make it right. The bullet cannot be called back, the child cannot be unshaken.
Justice cannot undo the wrongs committed. It can only hold those accountable who do the wrong and protect others from them in the future.