VC shooter recently released after serving 16 years in prison

Sept. 22, 2011 at 4:22 a.m.

Marcus Washington was arrested Wednesday on Victoria campus.

Marcus Washington was arrested Wednesday on Victoria campus.

The man accused of shooting a handgun in the Victoria College Sports & Fitness Center was released from prison in July after serving 16 years for sexual assault.

Marcus Washington, 40, of Victoria, is charged with two counts of possessing a weapon where prohibited, a third-degree felony; and two counts of aggravated assault, one a second-degree felony, the other a third-degree felony. He is suspected of firing as many as six shots after getting into an argument in the VC gym Wednesday afternoon.

No one was injured.

Washington's rap sheet dates to 1993, when he was charged with felony burglary of a vehicle.

He served 28 days in jail and was sentenced to five years probation, according to court records.

Washington violated his probation six times during the next two years, at one point serving 77 days in jail and racking up an assault causing bodily injury charge.

In July 1995, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault. According to court records, he used violence to have nonconsensual sex with a woman who was only identified as someone who was not his wife.

As part of that incident, he was also charged with two counts of assault by threat, retaliation, violation of probation and criminal trespassing, the latter of which he also pled guilty to.

Washington served the entirety of his 16-year sentence. He was released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice unit in Huntsville on July 7, according to criminal history records.

Before his imprisonment, Washington attended Victoria High School in the late 1980s, according to yearbooks.

VC President Tom Butler said Washington was also a student at the college 17 or 18 years ago.

A family friend said that before Washington began getting into trouble with the law, he was a well-liked football player who looked out for her daughter in school.

"He kind of got off on the wrong track years ago," Jan Densman said. "He's done some dumb things, but he also has a very good, warm-hearted side ... I know yesterday's actions don't exactly speak to that."

Though witnesses said the argument in the gym centered on religion, Densman, who is in touch with Washington's family, said she didn't know what exactly Washington could have had contention about. She said Washington had been working out lately and just went to VC to play some basketball.

"I can't imagine what kind of an argument this was that ended like that, but I do think if he had wanted to hurt somebody he would have," she said.

Densman said Washington's grandmother, who was listed on his arrest report as his emergency contact, is "a good, good woman who taught good values to the kids."

The family was in shock, Densman said, by Washington's alleged actions because he seemed to be excited to turn his life around.

"We were just hoping. I really felt like he was in a good place. He sounded great," she said. "Obviously yesterday was a very bad decision, and I fear that he's really wrecked his chances."

Justice of the Peace Robert Whitaker set Washington's bond at $50,000 for each aggravated assault charge and $25,000 for a prohibited weapons charge.



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