A Gonzaga Law School graduate has been cleared of a perjury charge. Whitman County Superior Court Judge Wallis Friel ruled Wednesday that Jason R. Maughan, 26, didn’t lie about his income and marital status to obtain a public defender.
While facing charges stemming from a shooting, Maughan was accused of claiming he had no income and then hiring a Spokane attorney to assist his court-appointed public defender.
Authorities said they found records of Maughan’s Oct. 16, 1995, marriage to a Spokane woman in Las Vegas. Maughan’s wife earns more than $24,000 a year, a Washington State Patrol detective said.
Maughan’s attorney, Roger Felice, said a court-appointed public defender was following the request of the judge in the case when he advised Maughan to report his status at the start of the proceedings, which was unmarried and without a source of income.
Prosecutor David Sandhaus said he still believes he had a strong case against Maughan.
“I don’t believe that one should just be able to rely on an attorney’s advice as an excuse for giving false information,” he said.
Maughan was arrested on June 7, 1995, for allegedly shooting out the window of a car parked along U.S. 395, two miles south of Lind.
A Kennewick man in the car suffered neck wounds from flying glass.
Maughan still faces charges of third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree malicious mischief in Adams County.
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