Man to be sentenced for racial incident

Abbey enters Alford plea to felony charge of malicious harassment

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COEUR d'ALENE - Self-proclaimed skinhead Daren C. Abbey got knocked out with one punch by a black man on July 3, after telling the man he didn't belong inside J.D.'s bar or in Bayview at all because of the color of his skin.

On Thursday in 1st District Court, Abbey, 28, agreed to be sentenced on a felony charge of malicious harassment from the short-lived confrontation with Marlon L. Baker, who at the time of the incident was wearing a Spokane Boxing Club Champion T-shirt.

By entering an Alford plea, Abbey avoids admitting guilt, but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to likely convict him at trial.

District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson scheduled sentencing for March 9, and released Abbey from Kootenai County jail. A no-contact order is still in place to keep Abbey away from Baker.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Department officials said at the time of Abbey's arrest that he threatened to stab Baker.

Baker, of Spokane Valley, left the bar to avoid a fight, but Abbey followed him outside and toward a marina, hurling racial slurs.

According to a sheriff's department report, "Baker stated Abbey told him 'blacks' were not welcome in Bayview and he had better leave before something happened."

Abbey then poked Baker in the chest, the report said.

Baker told sheriff's investigators that he felt threatened as Abbey followed him, wouldn't leave him alone, and he instinctively punched Abbey in self-defense.

"Baker stated Abbey immediately fell to the ground and did not get up," the report said.

Abbey, who was from Sacramento, Calif., and was living in Coeur d'Alene as a transient, suffered facial fractures because of the blow from Baker.

The sheriff's report said Abbey has several white supremacist tattoos on his chest, arms and neck.

When sheriff's investigators talked with Abbey at the scene, after he woke up, Abbey said he told Baker that if Baker "behaved" himself around the whites everything would be "cool" and he would be allowed to stay in Bayview.

Abbey told authorities he thought Baker hit him with a "brick."

When Abbey was told he was being arrested, Abbey said, "What, you're arresting the white man?"

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