Man who beat four women, held one captive and required a SWAT response pleads guilty

He spent a year in jail. What did he just plead guilty to?

Robert Dean McGlothern Jr. is accused of kidnapping his neighbor in October 2015, repeatedly assaulting her with a metal baseball bat and locking her in a closet for two days. McGlothern plead guilty to the crimes Friday, Jan. 5 in Whatcom Superio
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Robert Dean McGlothern Jr. is accused of kidnapping his neighbor in October 2015, repeatedly assaulting her with a metal baseball bat and locking her in a closet for two days. McGlothern plead guilty to the crimes Friday, Jan. 5 in Whatcom Superio

A Bellingham man who was accused of brutally beating four women in 2015, including one who he kept in his room for two days while he assaulted her with a metal bat, took a plea deal in Whatcom County Superior Court Friday morning.

Robert Dean McGlothern Jr., 32, pleaded guilty in two separate cases to two counts of attempted second-degree manslaughter and five counts of second-degree assault. He will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Jan. 12.

McGlothern’s charges were amended to a more severe offense, but included less counts.

Darrin Hall, a public defender who assisted with McGlothern’s case, said the plea deal was the result of two and a half years of negotiations.

“It’s a rather complicated negotiation and resolution,” Hall said in court Friday. “It’s been a long process ... There was not any place more for us to go and the last thing we wanted was to go to trial.”

McGlothern’s trial had been scheduled to begin Monday morning.

As part of the plea deal, prosecuting attorney Eric Richey is seeking an exceptional sentence, or a sentence higher than the standard range for the crimes – Richey is asking for 16 years in prison.

In his guilty pleas, McGlothern wrote that he agrees there was sufficient evidence to find him guilty of all the charges included in all the previous charging documents, court records show.

The cases

The first victim: On Oct. 22, 2015 victim No. 1 called 911 to report McGlothern had assaulted her with a baseball bat over the last day and a half. McGlothern had asked the woman to help him round up some loose chickens, and she agreed to go to his home at 2091 E. Smith Road. McGlothern then assaulted the woman with a long, metal bat and kept her in a converted meat locker that he used as a room, according to court records. He also threatened her with a firearm.

During the time she was being held, the woman’s work called her grandmother because the woman didn’t show up for her shift. The grandmother went to McGlothern’s house, but was told the woman had run off with a man from Everson, the records state. Later, McGlothern told the woman her grandmother had stopped by and was looking for her. On Oct. 22, McGlothern passed out on his bed and the woman was able to escape.

When Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies found her, the woman had multiple bruises and welts on her head, face, arms and legs. Her left eye was nearly swollen shut and black, court records state. The woman was taken to the hospital where she faded in and out of consciousness.

0105 McGlothern pleaWEB
Whatcom County senior deputy public defender Darrin Hall, left, goes over the plea deal with public defender Stephen Jackson and defendant Robert Dean McGlothern Jr., in Whatcom Superior Court Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Bellingham. McGlothern pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted second-degree manslaughter and five counts of attempted second-degree assault. Philip A. Dwyer pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Detectives and SWAT personnel went to McGlothern’s house to get him to surrender, but after seven hours, SWAT officers forced their way into the residence. They found McGlothern hiding in the converted meat locker bedroom. Two firearms were also found.

The second victim: After McGlothern’s arrest, a second woman contacted victim No. 1’s grandmother and apologized for what happened to victim 1. The second woman told the grandmother that McGlothern had assaulted her in the past with a bat, too, according to court papers. Victim No. 2 said she didn’t report the incident to law enforcement at the time, but was now willing to speak about it. The woman had photos of the bruises caused by McGlothern, the records show.

During an interview with victim 2, the woman told investigators she and McGlothern briefly dated. In July 2015, the woman was at McGlothern’s Smith Road home. The pair had sex, but McGlothern couldn’t ejaculate and became upset. He then threw her out the front door, naked, according to charging documents.

McGlothern then grabbed the woman by her hair, pulled her into the house and assaulted her, the records state. The woman screamed, but McGlothern choked her, and told her “he could not let her go because she would go to the police and then he was going to have to kill her,” the records show.

The woman took photos of her injuries, which included a time stamp.

The third victim: In November 2013, sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic violence incident at McGlothern’s Smith Road home. Victim No. 3 reported that during an argument with McGlothern, he choked her with both hands and punched her repeatedly in the face, torso and back. She also said McGlothern kicked her in the legs.

Robert Dean McGlothern Jr., 30, makes his first appearance in Whatcom Superior Court at Whatcom County Jail on Friday, Oct. 23, in Bellingham, Wash. McGlothern is accused of first degree assault and first degree kidnapping.

Victim 3 told deputies that when she told McGlothern she couldn’t breathe while he was choking her, he put one hand over her mouth and nose and told her to “Shut the f*** up or I’ll kill you,” according to court documents.

Charges were filed in the case in November 2013, but victim 3 later recanted her statement and the charges were dismissed. In November 2015, victim 3 told prosecutors she was 100 days clean and sober and at the time when she recanted, she was using drugs and was pressured by McGlothern and her friends, the records show.

The fourth victim: In November 2015, investigators spoke with victim No. 4 in the prosecutor’s office. The woman reported she had been assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, who was identified as McGlothern. The woman said she suffered a broken nose from the assault that required two surgeries in April 2015, court records show. She said this wasn’t the first time McGlothern had assaulted her.

A check of records showed victim 4 had reported an incident in July 2015, where McGlothern was arrested for assaulting her and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence.

During the course of their dating relationship, which lasted several months, the woman said McGlothern would be friendly for a while, but would then get upset if she didn’t show him enough affection and would start beating her, the records state.

In one instance, the woman said an assault occurred in front of McGlothern’s children. In another, the woman had a friend take her to the hospital after McGlothern assaulted her. The woman didn’t report the incident to law enforcement and told hospital staff she suffered her injuries by attempting a back-flip on a trampoline and landing on her face, court records state. Hospital staff noted the woman had blood on her brain and a broken nose. The woman was referred to a specialist and went on to have two surgeries on her nose, the records state. Ten days after she went to the hospital, the woman called back and told hospital staff she was assaulted by her ex-boyfriend.

McGlothern has a history of assaulting other women as well, including his then-pregnant sister who filed for a protection order, according to court records.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt