A 22-year-old Kent transient was sentenced today to 33 years in prison for the December 2010 beating of a Shoreline man who will never fully recover from his injuries.
A King County jury had found Harold C. Donald Jr. guilty of first-degree assault and first-degree attempted robbery on Feb. 9. Jurors also found evidence of rapid recidivism — Donald had been released from jail 13 days before the attack on the Shoreline man — which was an aggravating factor that added to the length of his sentence, court records show.
Around 3 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2010, Gordon “Mac” McWhirter went outside to smoke a cigarette on his deck in the 15100 block of Stone Lane North and heard someone trying to steal his 1995 Jeep Cherokee, according to court records. He went to investigate, wearing slippers and a custom-made, green bathrobe with the image of a jaguar on the back.
Soon after, a neighbor called 911 to report seeing McWhirter crawling, bloody and naked except for one slipper. He had extensive injuries and was unable to tell deputies what had happened.
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King County sheriff’s detectives later learned that Donald had given McWhirter’s bloody bathrobe to his mother as a Christmas present.
Donald’s co-defendant, Lorenzo A. Leon, pleaded guilty last year to first-degree attempted robbery but has not yet been sentenced.
McWhirter’s wife, Sandra, wrote a letter to Judge Michael Hayden, detailing her husband’s disabilities as a result of the attack: After almost a week in a coma, McWhirter, 56, had to learn to eat, walk and talk again. McWhirter has limited use of the left side of his body and can no longer do daily tasks, such as paying bills or answering the phone.
“The head trauma he suffered was immense,” the letter reads. “His speech is now slurred. He used to love to read and play games. Now, he doesn’t read much or play some games because he doesn’t comprehend them.”
The letter continued: “This incident has changed who we are, because of the abilities and disabilities we now deal with.”