Vodka bottle attack suspect pleads not guilty

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 
photoWilliam E. Coultas Jr.

A Vancouver man accused of attacking another man with a vodka bottle at the Value Motel pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault.

William E. Coultas Jr., 49, was arraigned on the charges in Clark County Superior Court.

Coultas’ attorney, Gerry Wear, said he did not agree with prosecutors’ filing two charges related to one act and said he would contest it at a later date.

Coultas had originally been held in the Clark County Jail on suspicion of one count of second-degree attempted murder.

“He adamantly doesn’t agree with it,” Wear said of the current charges.

Judge Diane Woolard set trial for Sept. 24.

Coultas is accused of striking 55-year-old Presley Ewing over the head with a vodka bottle between 25 and 30 times on the evening of July 18, according to court documents.

To detectives, Coultas “said words to the effect, ‘Yeah, I was beating him and blood was flying everywhere,’ ” according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court.

The two men knew each other; a motive for the beating has not been established.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched about 10:30 a.m. the following morning to the motel, at 708 N.E. 78th St., to find Ewing being treated by medics for facial and head injuries. The room where Ewing was staying had blood spattered on the walls, the ceiling, a bed and a chair, according to court documents.

Ewing was admitted to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, but has since been released.

Alcohol was believed to be a factor; Coultas admitted to detectives that he had been staying at the Hazel Dell motel but said he didn’t remember what happened, according to court documents.

Laura McVicker: http://twitter.com/col_courts; http://facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.