Paragraph 11 reads: "Both Silver and Thayer said the Feb. 22 assault
was the first of its kind. Thayer said Harding
's erratic behavior was brought on by mixing alcohol with Zoloft, a prescription antidepressant medication.
JUDGE SENDS TONYA HARDING
Columbian, The (Vancouver, WA)
May 19, 2000
Author: STEPHANIE THOMSON, Columbian staff writer
Estimated printed pages: 3
WASHOUGAL -- In skating competitions, those tough Russian judges could only penalize Tonya Harding
fractions of a point.
In court Thursday, a Clark County District Court judge gave her a much more serious penalty: three days in jail and 10 days on work crew.
The sentence wrapped up a February assault
case in which Harding
punched her live-in boyfriend in the face, threw a wheel cover at his head and chucked a handful of rocks at his truck, scraping the paint.
Judge Darvin Zimmerman rejected the prosecutor's recommendation that Harding
spend 240 hours doing community service. And the judge scoffed at defense attorney Steve Thayer's proposal: for Harding
to spend the service hours teaching ice-skating lessons to "underprivileged children" in the community.
"I don't think you are quite the role model who should be out working with youth," Zimmerman told Harding
In a quiet voice, the former Olympic figure skater told the judge she wanted to take responsibility for her actions.
She apologized and told the judge it would never happen again.
"Did you tell the judge the same thing in Oregon a few years back?" Zimmerman asked, referring to Harding
's conviction for hindering prosecution in the 1994 assault
against skating rival Nancy Kerrigan.
Victim Darren Silver, who at the time had lived with Harding
for three years at her rural Camas home, was not at the hearing because he could not miss work. In a written statement, he urged the judge to spare Harding
"I have forgiven her in my heart if I could forgive her, so should the state," Silver wrote.
Both Silver and Thayer said the Feb. 22 assault
was the first of its kind. Thayer said Harding
's erratic behavior was brought on by mixing alcohol with Zoloft
, a prescription antidepressant medication.
Thayer said his client does not drink alcohol to excess, but Zimmerman ordered her to stay away from it for two years while on probation. She does not have to continue taking Antabuse, as required earlier by a judge. The drug makes users ill if they drink alcohol.
The judge warned Harding
that any probation violations would probably not be kept a secret.
"The whole world keeps an eye on you, so if you're drinking some place, it's not like a probation officer isn't going to hear about it."Harding
, dressed in a sleeveless white pantsuit and black high heels, looked surprised when Zimmerman told her she would be leaving immediately after the hearing for the Clark County Jail.
Minutes later, she was handcuffed and escorted out the back door of the Camas-Washougal Municipal Court.
Clark County Sheriff's Lt. Cliff Evelyn said Harding
would be isolated from the 500-plus other inmates so as to not cause a distraction at the chronically overcrowded jail.
"Basically we decided it would be safer to keep her in protective custody," Evelyn said, adding Harding
will be kept in a single cell and brought her food.
THE SENTENCETonya Harding
pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors Thursday in Camas-Washougal Municipal Court:
* Third-degree malicious mischief: 10 days on a Camas-Washougal work crew, a suspended 80-day jail sentence and $411 in fines and fees.
* Disorderly conduct: Three days in the Clark County Jail, a suspended 87-day jail sentence and $411 in fines and fees.
* Also: The original charge of fourth-degree domestic violence assault
, which has a maximum penalty of a year in jail, was dropped. Harding
will be on probation for two years, during which time she cannot consume alcohol. If she drinks and gets caught, a judge could make her serve the suspended jail sentences.
The no-contact order between Harding
and victim Darren Silver was dropped at the victim's request.
KIM BLAU/The Columbian * Police escort: Two Camas Police
Department officers escort Tonya Harding
to a car Thursday morning to drive
her to the Clark County Jail. The former Olympic figure skater appeared in
court in Washougal, where she was sentenced to three days in jail and 10 days
on a county work crew; she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming
from a fight with her boyfriend in February. In court: Tonya Harding
attorney, Steve Thayer, appear before Judge Darvin Zimmerman in
Camas-Washougal Municipal Court Thursday morning.
Section: Clark County/region
Copyright (c) 2000 The Columbian Publishing Co., P.O. Box 180, Vancouver, WA 98666.
Record Number: 2000140009
OpenURL Article Bookmark (right click, and copy the link location):JUDGE SENDS TONYA HARDING TO JAIL