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DAVID ALLEN, attorney
SASHA CADY, defendant

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 17, 1981


Jury acquits woman who shot assailant

By Jack Hopkins

 

Sasha Cady, who shot a man after giving his girlfriend refuge when the couple had a violent quarrel outside her apartment last fall, was found innocent of assault yesterday by a jury which apparently believed she acted in self-defense.

Nearly a dozen women sitting in the courtroom cheered and applauded loudly as the jurors absolved the 31-year-old Seattle woman in the shooting of James Doyle.

The case had become a major cause in Seattle’s feminist community.

Cady had testified during the trial that she sprayed a disabling chemical and then shot the 28-year-old Doyle with a .38-caliber pistol on November 28 after interceding in a bitter dispute he was having with his girlfriend, Diane Chaddock.

She told a King County Superior Court jury that Doyle hit her and knocked her across the room before she shot him as he forced his way into her apartment.

She said she had gone to Chaddock’s aid after hearing the woman screaming in fear. And, she said, she acted in self-defense in the confrontation that followed.

Both Doyle, who recovered from the gunshot wound, and Chaddock testified against Cady, saying she didn’t have an adequate reason to shoot him. The couple still lives together.

Cady broke into a wide grin and patted her attorneys—David Allen and Fred Diamondstone—on their arms as the verdict was read in the courtroom of Judge Frank Eberharter. Then she began to cry softly.

Cady said afterwards that she had expected to be found guilty of the second-degree assault charge.

“I was pessimistic all the way through the trial,” she said. “Considering the history of women in self-defense, I was seeing bars every night.”

Cady said, however, that the ordeal she’d gone through wouldn’t stop her from reacting the same way if she were confronted with a similar situation in the future.

“I’d do just what I did before,” Cady said, wiping away her tears. “I’m not going to let this stop me from helping anyone else.”


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