OKANOGAN - Jared Nathanael Fudge, accused of first-degree murder in the 2017 death of Clarence Walter “Shag” Hauf, has been acquitted by reason of insanity.
Findings of fact, conclusions of law and the order of acquittal were filed May 10 in Okanogan County Superior Court.
Superior Court Judge Chris Culp found Fudge, 28, is competent to enter a plea and to stand trial for aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree arson, first-degree burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.
But, at the time the acts were committed, “the defendant was suffering from a mental disease or defect affecting … (his) mind to the extent that either the defendant was unable to perceive the nature and quality of the act(s) with which he/she is charged; or the defendant was unable to tell right from wrong with reference to the particular act(s) charged,” said court documents.
Evaluation reports by Dr. Michael Stanfill and W. Timm Fredrickson, both license psychologists who examined Fudge, accompanied the court order.
The court also found Fudge is a substantial danger to others and presents a substantial likelihood of committing criminal acts jeopardizing the public safety or security unless kept under further control by the court.
Culp concluded that Fudge committed all of the acts with which he was charged, but was insane at the time the acts were committed.
Fudge was ordered into custody of the state Department of Social and Health Services for placement at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake. Use of involuntary medication was authorized to treat Fudge.
Fudge was charged with breaking into Hauf’s home on Omak River Road on Nov. 17, 2017, killing Hauf, setting fire to the home and taking his truck.
Fudge was arrested the same day the fire destroyed Hauf’s home. Hauf’s badly burned body was found inside the home.
Firefighters from Omak, Okanogan and Malott were called to the fully engulfed home at 6:46 a.m. The Omak Fire Department, sheriff’s office and LifeLine Ambulance also responded.
Minutes after the fire was reported, Okanogan County dispatch received reports that an individual was seen running from the fire scene. His description was relayed to law enforcement and Fudge was arrested a short time later.
A probable cause statement – Okanogan County sheriff’s Detective Kreg Sloan’s investigative report – said Sloan checked records and learned Hauf, 82, was the protected party in a protection order against Fudge the previous summer.
The order indicated Fudge had moved a trailer onto Hauf’s property but after a month Hauf asked that it be removed. Their relationship apparently became more and more confrontational, with Hauf alleging Fudge had stolen gas and choked his own dog to death when he got angry.
Sloan learned shortly after 8 a.m. from Omak Fire Chief Kevin Bowling that firefighters found a badly burned body in the residence and that one of the owner’s vehicles was missing, the report said. A pickup truck was found nearby; it allegedly contained alcohol and property belonging to Hauf.
Fudge was located around 9:30 a.m. in a tent in East Side Park. He was arrested and allegedly had black, burned debris on his clothing and smelled of smoke. The tent also allegedly smelled of something burned.
The suspect was taken to the jail and later to the Omak Police Department, where he was interviewed, according to Sloan’s report.
Fudge was accused of stabbing Hauf and cutting his ligaments so he could not fight back. He allegedly stoked a basement wood stove, piled wood in front of it and left the door open, then went back upstairs and beat Hauf with a sledgehammer.
Fudge allegedly told police he took Hauf’s truck to leave and didn’t even get off the property because there were “too many demons in the truck and he left it by the edge of the property,” the report said, noting that Fudge allegedly called Hauf a demon.
Later in the morning, search warrants were obtained for Hauf’s home, property, all vehicles on his property, Fudge’s person and clothing, and his camp at East Side Park.
Clothing was found hanging in a tree near the Okanogan River at the park where Fudge allegedly had left it after washing it in the river. A sledgehammer was found next to a tree by the tent and a machete was found stuck into the tree, the report said.
A beige flatbed pickup truck registered to Hauf was found parked along the north edge of Hauf’s property. Various food and drink items and a pair of cowboy boots were found; the keys were in the vehicle, the report said.