Army sergeant charged with felony assault on wife at Washington hotel

By CALEB HUTTON | The Bellingham Herald | Published: March 4, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (Tribune News Service) — An active duty U.S. Army sergeant has been charged with a felony assault on his wife at a local hotel.

Mark Anthony Wicker, 27, a sergeant based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, got into a fight with his wife on Feb. 18 while staying at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Wash.

He had struck up a conversation with other women at the resort’s swimming pool and his wife, 30, told him she didn’t appreciate that, according to charging papers.

Back in their hotel room, Wicker and his wife argued. He threw her to the floor, choked her with his hands, and made threats to kill her, according to her report. She freed herself by kicking him, she reported, and ran outside screaming for help.

Charging papers also say that Wicker “reportedly” aimed a gun at his wife near the end of the assault. So far, however, prosecutors haven’t filed a charge of assault with a firearm, and instead Wicker is accused of using strangulation or suffocation in the attack. The exact charge could change as the investigation unfolds.

Blaine police searched Wicker’s room, with his permission, and found no guns. Wicker said he had a gun in his vehicle and police found a loaded .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol near the passenger seat, according to the charges.

Wicker, of Lakewood, spent two nights in jail before a bail hearing last week. At the hearing Mark Kaiman, a private defense attorney, said Wicker has been stationed at JBLM for eight years, where he serves with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which provides helicopter support in battle. Kaiman asked the court to release Wicker with no bail, saying his supervisors would confine him to the base in Pierce County.

“There’s no one that could supervise him more closely than his command is going to supervise him, should he be released on this case,” Kaiman said.

Superior Court Commissioner Martha Gross released Wicker on a promise to show up to court, without requiring him to post bond.

Prosecutors filed formal charges of domestic violence assault in the second degree this week.

At his arraignment Friday, Wicker pleaded not guilty.

Last year, Wicker’s wife sought a protection order against him in which she alleged Wicker made threats to kill her if his supervisor got involved. Wicker, she wrote in April, said he “doesn’t have a problem taking someone’s life,” and he once had pulled a gun on a friend while making a threat to kill him.

She did not show up to a court date two weeks later, so the order was dismissed.

©2017 The Bellingham Herald (Bellingham, Wash.)
Visit The Bellingham Herald at www.bellinghamherald.com
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