He was released from jail Friday, one month after incident at his home
By Chris Collins
A Baker City man who spent the past month in jail facing domestic violences charges that brought a SWAT team to his home after shots were fired, pleaded guilty to assault and drug possession Friday in Baker County Circuit Court.
Dale Myron Patrick Mack, 38, of 3660 Cedar St., was released from jail Friday. He received credit for time served on a 30-day jail term imposed at sentencing on the misdemeanor assault charge.
Mack pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and one count of fourth-degree assault constituting domestic violence in an agreement with the District Attorney's Office.
Other charges of strangulation, menacing, pointing a firearm at another and harassment were dismissed.
Mack pleaded guilty to the drug charge Friday and agreed to entry of a conditional discharge as allowed by law on a first-time drug conviction. Under the one-time-only agreement, the charge would be dismissed if Mack successfully completes 18 months' probation.
If Mack's probation is revoked during that 18-month period, however, the guilty plea would be entered and he would be back in court for sentencing, Judge Greg Baxter explained to Mack Friday.
The drug charge was added to the accusations against Mack after police found traces of what later was proved to be methamphetamine at his home while investigating the Feb. 6 domestic violence crime. Mack admitted that the drug was his.
As part of his probation, Mack will be required to obtain a psychological evaluation within the next 30 days and to be evaluated for alcohol and drug addiction, and follow all recommended treatment. He also must complete a domestic violence intervention program.
"He has indicated a desire to get into treatment and to deal with these issues," Shirtcliff told the judge.
Mack was convicted of harassment related to domestic violence in 2007, according to court documents.
"He went through the (domestic violence intervention) program and did well," Shirtcliff said.
"If he doesn't do well he faces a lifetime felony conviction and more jail time," Shirtcliff said. "He's got a lot of work to do."
Mack's attorney, Ken Bardizian of Baker City, said his client served in Iraq with the Oregon Army National Guard and suffers post-raumatic stress disorder as a result of that experience.
Mack's crimes will cost him his military enlistment, his attorney said.
"He hopes he can get back on track and be a useful member of society," Bardizian said.
A tri-county SWAT team was called to Mack's home in the early morning hours of Feb. 6 after neighbors reported hearing shots fired.
A section of North Cedar Street between H Street and Hughes Lane was closed for several hours while police searched for Mack.
"This is a very serious case," Shirtcliff told the court. "There was a weapon involved and he caused injury to (his victim) and collateral damage to the community."
Police found Mack inside a camp trailer on the Cedar Street property. He gave himself up after police used "flash-bang devices" to get him to come out. He was taken to jail without incident.
Shirtcliff told Baxter that the assault began as an argument that became physical between Mack and his female victim.
At one point, Mack brought a semi-automatic handgun and an ammunition clip out from a bedroom and held the gun to the back of the victim's head, the woman told police.
She said she picked up the gun after Mack dropped it as he left the room. She fired two shots in self-defense as she left the house, Shirtcliff said. No one was injured.
Police have searched Mack's home and have been unable to find the gun. Bardizian told the court that Mack's home was burglarized while he was in jail and property was taken.
A Parole and Probation officer was to escort him to his home upon release Friday to ensure that all guns were removed from the premises.
The felony drug conviction prohibits Mack from possessing firearms.
Mack also will be required to comply with these special conditions of probation:
andbull; Abstain from the use or possession of any illegal drugs or narcotics and notify his probation officer of any prescribed medicine.
andbull; Possess no narcotics paraphernalia, including smoking devices.
andbull; Consent to searches by his probation officer without a search warrant.
andbull; Stay away from others known to use, sell or possess drugs and the places they frequent.
andbull; Submit to random breath and urinalysis testing.
andbull; Have no contact with the victim.
andbull; Pay a $200 fine and $750 attorneys fees, $500 of which will be suspended upon successful completion of probation.
andbull; Pay restitution to the victim, the amount of which will be determined at a June 2 hearing.
andbull; Sign a release of information to allow his probation officer to monitor his progress with treatment providers.
Baxter encouraged Mack to "stay the course" to successfully complete his probation. He encouraged him to visit with Jane Chandler, the county's veterans services officer, regarding military benefits to help with his treatment.
The judge cautioned Mack against continuing to use drugs while seeking treatment.
"You need to be clean to find out if there's a problem," he said. "Don't self-medicate - you've got to be clean."
Baxter also encouraged Mack to work hard while on probation for his young children.
"It's not going to be easy," he said. "But if there's anything that's going to allow you to stay the course it's for your kids."