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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Woman who shot man at Spokane Valley car wash last year pleads guilty to assault

Oct. 28, 2022 Updated Fri., Oct. 28, 2022 at 7:59 p.m.

Sabrina Heaton is pictured.   (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)
Sabrina Heaton is pictured.  (Spokane County Sheriff's Office)

A 32-year-old woman who shot a man in the stomach last year in a Spokane Valley car wash parking lot pleaded guilty to first-degree assault Friday in Spokane County Superior Court.

Sabrina M. Heaton faced attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault charges, but prosecutors dropped the attempted murder charge as part of the plea, Spokane County deputy prosecutor Tom Treppiedi said.

Robby Heaton, Sabrina Heaton’s ex-husband, reported his yellow Volkswagen Beetle and another car stolen May 6, 2021, according to court documents. He believed Sabrina Heaton took the Beetle.

A few months later on Aug. 26, Joseph Carson, who was 45 at the time, told police he was washing the Beetle he borrowed from Sabrina Heaton in the parking lot of Clean-A-Auto.

Sabrina Heaton arrived in a black VW Beetle at about 6:40 p.m. demanding the car, Carson said in documents. Carson obliged and said he would grab his belongings from the car and take his keys off the key ring.

Heaton threatened to shoot Carson, saying she needed the car immediately, according to court documents.

Carson’s girlfriend told deputies Heaton went to the black Beetle, got a stun gun and threatened to use it on Carson. A few moments later, she returned to the black Beetle and grabbed a pistol, the girlfriend told police.

Heaton held the gun at the back of Carson’s neck and told him she was going to kill him before Carson tried to overpower her, according to the girlfriend.

During the struggle, Heaton shot Carson in the stomach and fled in the black Beetle, court records said. Heaton was later arrested and remained in the Spokane County Jail Friday.

Carson’s injuries were life-threatening, but Treppiedi said he believed he fully recovered.

Heaton is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 2 by Superior Court Judge Tony Hazel. Treppiedi said Heaton’s sentencing range is a little less than 8 years to a little more than 10 years in prison.

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