Accused slasher to face stiffer charges

Prosecutors have upped the charges on Marvin Fitzgerald, accused of cutting another man’s throat without provocation.

Fitzgerald now faces a first-degree assault charge, rather than the second-degree assault charge he was originally arraigned on.

The change was introduced at Fitzgerald’s omnibus hearing on Wednesday.

Deputy prosecutor Andy Anderson, who is prosecuting the case, said the new charge is much more in line with the events outlined in the police reports.

“We got all the police reports back and saw it as being more serious,” Anderson said.

The upgraded charge means Fitzgerald now faces a longer prison sentence if convicted.

Second-degree assault is a class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a standard range of three to nine months in jail for a person with no criminal history.

First-degree assault is a class A felony, which brings a maximum sentence of life in prison and a standard range of approximately eight to 10 years for a person with no criminal history.

Fitzgerald has nearly a dozen prior misdemeanor convictions and one felony drug conviction, so it is likely his standard range would be higher if he was convicted.

Anderson said Fitzgerald had been offered a plea bargain and made a decision whether or not to accept it. However, Anderson said, the matter was considered private unless Fitzgerald’s lawyer chose to disclose it.

Neither Fitzgerald nor his lawyer were available for comment.

According to police reports, Fitzgerald, a Port Orchard transient, attacked a fellow transient with a knife as the victim visited with a friend in a Port Orchard residence. Witnesses said Fitzgerald became enraged when he saw the victim and attempted to cut his throat with a foot-long knife. The victim survived the original attack and was later treated and released at Harrison Hospital.

Fitzgerald’s next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 18.

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