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Spokane man sentenced in gun-waving incident

Mon., April 12, 2010, 4:01 p.m.

A man facing serious prison time instead pleaded guilty today to a list of charges that resulted from him waving a gun at a group of mostly teenagers.

Phillip J. Koller, 61, was charged with several counts of first-degree assault for an incident that occurred on June 6, 2009, at his apartment, located near Wellesley Avenue and Assembly Street.

According to the victims, most of whom were teenagers, they saw Koller urinating behind his apartment. When they verbally confronted him, Koller yelled back and threatened to get a gun. He went inside and came outside with a handgun and began waving it around, defense attorney Byron Powell said in court testimony.

“I apologize to those kids I accosted. It was reprehensible behavior on my part,” Koller told Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno. “All my problems come from when I’ve been drinking.”

Deputy Prosecutor Larry Steinmetz agreed to reduce the charges to one count of second-degree assault, five counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of disorderly conduct in exchange for a guilty plea.

“Instead of locking him up and throwing away the key, I felt it would be better to seek treatment,” Steinmetz said.

Moreno sentenced Koller, who has two previous DUI convictions, to three months in prison. He was also given credit for 16 days he previously served in jail.

“I find your candor and sense of responsibility refreshing,” Moreno said.

Tags: Assault, crime

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