A jury on Friday found a 55-year-old Guemes Island man guilty of attempted murder and arson in Skagit County Superior Court.
Charles Feld allegedly threw a mixture of gasoline and chemicals on a neighbor and the neighbor’s friend and threatened to light them on fire after the pair confronted him over a dispute about a rototiller Feld had rented from his neighbor. He then fired several rounds from a pistol but hit no one.
While the two men were being treated, authorities received a report of a fire at his neighbor’s home. It was destroyed.
The case has gone on two years since the April 2010 altercation.
Feld was convicted of all eight charges against him, including two counts of first-degree attempted murder and first-degree arson. The additional charges include four counts of first-degree assault and felony harassment.
He faces up to 109 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
A charge of illegal firearms possession was dropped from the trial to avoid prejudicing the jury. Prosecutors could still pursue the charge.
During the trial, the defense argued Feld was acting in self-defense when the two men confronted him at his home. They said there was no proof Feld tried to light one of them on fire nor that he tried to shoot one of the men.
After his arrest, Feld was diagnosed with an unspecified psychotic disorder by a psychologist at Western State Hospital. He had been committed to a mental health facility several times and refused to cooperate with lawyers and his doctors, court records state.
Feld has an extensive criminal history, including a prior arrest for attempted homicide in Pierce County in 1994, according to court documents.
He has been arrested in Island County, Minnesota and West Virginia for assault, burglary, trespassing, harassment, stalking and illegal possession of firearms and dangerous weapons, court documents say.
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