Former sheriff's candidate charged with attempted murder in Guemes Island incident
May 19, 2010 · Updated 2:08 PM
A former write-in candidate for San Juan County sheriff is in Skagit County Jail, awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder, assault, arson and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Charles Eugene Feld, 53, was charged April 6 in Skagit County Superior Court; bail was set at $1.5 million. He is accused of splashing gasoline on four men and threatening to light it, shooting a gun and pointing it at one of the men, and burning down a house. The alleged incident reportedly occurred when a neighbor went to Feld's house with three other men and confronted him about some money Feld reportedly owed him.
Feld reportedly hid on the island overnight but turned himself in to a deputy the following morning. The gun has not been found, Skagit County Sheriff Chief Civil Deputy Will Reichardt said.
Feld has been ordered to Western State Hospital for a competency evaluation, Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich said. If he is found not competent to stand trial, the prosecuting attorney's office would ask that he be "restored to compentency." If that is unsuccessful, the prosecuting attorney's office could ask that he be civilly committed.
Feld is being represented by Wes Richards of the Skagit County Public Defender's Office.
Feld, a former electric car salesman on San Juan Island, ran for sheriff in 2006, billing himself as "The Clean Ranger." Sheriff Bill Cumming won reelection with 5,821 votes. There were 379 write-in votes cast, many of them for Feld, according to the Elections Department.
Feld ran into legal trouble here. He got married here, but was still married to someone else in Whatcom County. Undersheriff Jon Zerby investigated Feld for bigamy, but the prosecuting attorney's office never prosecuted. His second wife later filed domestic protection orders and he moved off the island.
Since he has lived in Skagit County, he has been the subject of protection orders related to harassment and stalking, Weyrich said. He pleaded guilty to burglary and intimidation with a firearm in Pierce County in 1994, Pierce County Superior Court records show.
"He still introduces himself as 'The Clean Ranger,' " Weyrich said.