John Raymond Vaughn, 36, of Bellingham, is charged with first-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.
Vaughn was in a medically-induced coma for a time after he was shot in the Motel 6 incident, but was recovering at St. Joseph hospital.
At Vaughn’s first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court Thursday afternoon, prosecuting attorney Jonathan Richardson argued Vaughn stabbed another man unprovoked and asked for $500,000 bail.
Richardson also said Vaughn left the hospital against medical advice on March 20 and without notifying hospital staff, but did leave a thank you note on an eraser board in his room. Richardson argued Vaughn’s whereabouts were unknown until Vaughn showed up at the Ferndale Police Department Wednesday to retrieve some belongings.
Defense attorney Angela Anderson argued for $10,000 bail, noting that Vaughn turned himself in to Ferndale police and has had ties to the area since 2004.
Richardson couldn’t comment as to whether Vaughn turned himself in or not.
Superior Court Commissioner Angela Cuevas said she was concerned due to it being a very violent crime and the serious nature of Vaughn’s charge.
She set bail at $420,000.
Ferndale police were called for the report of a shooting and stabbing at the Motel 6 at 5671 Riverside Drive minutes before 9 a.m. March 8.
Officers found three people — two men and one woman — near the front entrance.
The other suspect in the incident, 44-year-old Jason Matthew Riemland, of Mount Vernon, was arrested March 9.
Riemland is facing charges of first-degree assault while armed with a firearm, according to court records.
Riemland sustained a gash to his left lower jaw area. He was treated at the hospital and released into custody.
Riemland pleaded not guilty March 16 and has trial tentatively set for May 21. He was released from jail on $50,000 bail.
In an interview done March 12, Vaughn told detectives he went to the hotel to pick up the woman and give her a ride to the courthouse but found her in Riemland’s vehicle. He said he and Riemland used to be best friends, according to documents read aloud in court Thursday.
Vaughn said there was some speculation that he may have stabbed Riemland, but it all happened so fast that it blended together, records state.
Vaughn said the night before the shooting, he found out the woman and Riemland were living together, but he didn’t understand why Riemland would do that when he knew Vaughn was in love with her, records state.
Vaughn told detectives there may have been some threats exchanged over a messaging app, but both men were angry.