Sequim man receives 4-year sentence for arson, assault charges

A Sequim man on March 7 was sentenced to four years in prison for a series of crimes late last year including arson, theft and assault.

David R. Burgess, 40, agreed to waive potentially going to trial for multiple cases in exchange for a 48-month sentence and 18 months of community custody upon release.

Judge Brent Basden agreed to the recommended sentence by deputy prosecuting attorney Steven Johnson that consolidates six charges concurrently: arson in the first degree; arson in the second degree; assault in the second degree with a deadly weapon (domestic violence); theft of a motor vehicle; malicious mischief in the third degree, and assault in the fourth degree.

A seventh charge for intimidating a witness was dismissed.

Johnson told Basden in court he felt the recommended sentence was appropriate as Burgess had no felony history prior to the series of charges.

“He had a violent streak at the end of 2023 (but) at the same time he has pleaded guilty to these offenses,” Johnson said.

“It would have been quite burdensome to bring all four cases to trial. [Burgess] was ready to take responsibility.”

Before his arrest on Dec. 28, Burgess was subject to conditions of release for malicious mischief and assault charges from November. He was ordered released on Dec. 13 to undergo drug and alcohol treatment.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched on the evening of Dec. 23 to a reported assault in the 800 block of Youngquist Road. Court documents state he struck a woman he was dating with a metal bar, bit her and struck her body on the side of a truck.

Burgess fled the scene and deputies were unable to locate him at the time.

First responders were called around 5 p.m. Dec. 27 to the 900 block of Hooker Road to investigate a reported assault and suspected arson.

According to court documents, witnesses reported Burgess put accelerant on an open wood stove inside a home valued at $396,449, and on a 2002 Mercury Sable.

Burgess told witnesses he was looking for his girlfriend and told them not to say anything after he started the fires because he’d be in the woods watching them, according to court documents.

No one was hurt from the fire, first responders reported.

Burgess had also stolen a 2006 Mazda station wagon earlier on Dec. 27 from the 300 block of Business Park Loop in Carlsborg, according to court documents. While searching for him, a deputy found him just before 8 p.m. Dec. 28 and arrested him after a short bicycle/foot pursuit on the 1900 block of Palo Alto Road.

Burgess was also charged for Nov. 17 incidents on the 900 block of Hooker Road when he assaulted a resident and broke a van’s windows.

In addition to the charges, Basden issued no contact orders for Burgess with five victims, ordered a domestic violence assessment, substance abuse treatment, and that Burgess cannot own, use or possess a firearm.

Burgess’ bail was initially set at $420,000, and Basden did not impose court fee obligations as Burgess receives public assistance.

A restitution hearing will be scheduled at a later date with Johnson saying it could be a “very significant” amount and that he wouldn’t be surprised if the house burned is considered a total loss.

Burgess chose not to address the court during sentencing.

Defense attorney William Payne said, “ultimately (Burgess has) been ready to take responsibility for his behaviors.”

“He immediately recognized what he did was wrong,” Payne said.

No victims spoke in court or shared statements at sentencing.