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Olympia Man Sentenced in Acid Attack Against Judge

Posted by Steve Karimi | Oct 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

A man who plead guilty last month to throwing acid in the face of a judge was sentenced to more the 14 years in prison for the 2012 attack.

Michael E. Martin, 36, went to the home of Thurston County District Court Judge Michael “Brett” Buckley after the judge granted a domestic violence protection order against Martin on behalf of the defendant's ex-girlfriend. When the judge answered his front door, Martin threw sulfuric acid in his face. The judge and his two dogs were burned by the acid. In addition, the chemical caused about $30,000 in damage to the judge's home.

Martin, a former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, was not arrested in the acid case until 2014 because he was serving a 17-month sentence for threatening an Army prosecutor.

At the time of the acid attack, police did not have a suspect, but about a month later, when an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation was searching Martin's house in connection with the threat against the Army prosecutor, he found a large amount of sulfuric acid and made the connection to the judge's case. The FBI agent contacted the Olympia police department. An Olympia police detective searching Martin's phone found a “to-do” list that included: “Find out where 2 get battery acid,” “Call private investigator,” “Find out who my judge was” and “Recon judge … home again.”

Given the charges Martin faced, he could have received life in prison.

A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm, assaults someone with a firearm or any deadly weapon or administers, exposes, or transmits poison, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or any other destructive or noxious substance. Assault in the first degree is a Class A felony, punishable by up to life in prison, or a fine of up to $50,000, or both.

A person is guilty of assault in the second degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first degree:

  • Intentionally assaults someone, inflicting substantial bodily harm; or
  • Intentionally and unlawfully causes substantial bodily harm to an unborn child by inflicting an injury on the mother; or
  • Assaults another with a deadly weapon; or
  • Administers to or causes to be taken by another, poison or any other destructive or noxious substance; or
  • With intent to commit a felony, assaults someone; or
  • Inflicts bodily harm which, by design, causes pain or agony equivalent to torture; or
  • Assaults another by strangulation or suffocation.

Assault in the second degree is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or a fine of up to $25,000, or both.

A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the first degree if he or she:

  • Causes physical damage to someone's property in an amount exceeding $5,000;
  • Causes an interruption of service rendered to the public by physically damaging or tampering with an emergency vehicle or property of the state, a political subdivision, or a public utility or mode of public transportation, power, or communication; or
  • Causes an impairment of the safety, efficiency, or operation of an aircraft by physically damaging or tampering with the aircraft or aircraft equipment, fuel, lubricant, or parts.

Malicious mischief in the first degree is a Class B felony.

If you are facing criminal charges, even if charges have not yet been filed, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

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Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.