Local man pleads guilty

Mix sentenced to 20 years in prison

— A local man who exchanged gunfire with an Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office sergeant last fall pleaded guilty Aug. 15 in that case and a previous stabbing.

Neal Sylvester Mix, 28, pleaded guilty in Okanogan County Superior Court to first-degree assault, first-degree possession of a firearm, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, unlawful possession of a short-barrel shotgun or rifle, alteration of identification marks on a weapon and third-degree driving with a suspended or revoked license.

He was sentenced to 240 months in prison. Accompanying weapons enhancements were dismissed.

Mix was charged after the Nov. 10, 2012, incident in which he pulled a gun on Sgt. Tony Hawley. Hawley returned fire and shot Mix.

Hawley was not hurt.

The gunfire came after Hawley attempted to stop Mix for speeding. Mix also was wanted for an Okanogan stabbing a month earlier.

After a brief pursuit on Conconully Street, and Wood Hill and East Dry Coulee roads, Mix’s vehicle skidded off the gravel road, went over an embankment and overturned.

As Hawley approached the vehicle, Mix broke out the driver’s side window, pointed a shotgun and fired a round, Undersheriff Joe Somday said at the time. Hawley returned fire, striking Mix twice, once in the arm and once in the leg, Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal said.

Gjesdal’s office was called to investigate. Hawley was put on administrative leave, but returned to work in December.

In January, Gjesdal’s office found Hawley was justified in firing back.

Mix also pleaded guilty Aug. 15 to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon in the stabbing case. He was sentenced to 73.5 months, to be served concurrently with the shooting case.

He was charged with stabbing Jeremy Graves, then 33, on Oct. 6, 2012, on Queen Street in downtown Okanogan.


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