Man gets 15 months for stabbing at gas station west of Ferndale

An Everson man must spend 15 months in prison for stabbing a man in the back at a gas station west of Ferndale.

Security footage captured Vance Anthony Martinez Jr., 21, getting into a argument with Richard Cooke, 37, on the afternoon of Dec. 5, in the parking lot of a Starvin’ Sam’s at 3310 Slater Road. According to charging papers, as the argument grew more and more heated, Martinez took off his outer shirt and looked around the parking lot, then lunged at Cooke with a knife.

Martinez and his brother fled in a green Cadillac. Cooke had a deep stab wound to his lower back. He survived. He knew Martinez, 18, by name.

Ten minutes later Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies spotted the green Cadillac five miles to the east, by the bridge over the Nooksack River, in the 1600 block of Slater. The Cadillac pulled over. Deputies arrested Martinez at gunpoint.

He pleaded guilty last week to assault in the second degree. As part of his sentence Martinez can’t drink alcohol, and he must undergo treatment as seen fit by the Department of Corrections. Restitution hasn’t been set for Cooke’s medical bills. Martinez was transferred to a state prison to serve out his sentence on Tuesday, March 3.

He’d also pleaded guilty to theft in the first degree and assault in the third degree for throwing a Haggen manager onto the pavement while his friend, Shaundeen Rhiannon Zollner, tried to shoplift bottles of Smirnoff Vodka in July 2014, according to charging papers.

Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder sentenced Zollner to four months in jail Thursday for theft in the first degree and bail jumping. She can serve one of those months in rehab.

Zollner had no felony history.

Martinez, as a juvenile, had been convicted of assault in the second degree, three counts of assault in the fourth degree and reckless burning.