Marti struck 22-year-old Stephen Fanelli over the head with a baseball bat at a teenaged drinking party in Coupeville April 10. In court, Prosecutor Greg Banks said Marti overreacted and “unreasonably believed” that he needed to protect his friend from Fanelli.

Banks said that Fanelli suffered a skull fracture and a brain hemorrhage. The blow broke the bones of the inner ear, destroying the hearing on Fanelli’s right side.

...Yet despite the serious injuries, Fanelli wasn’t angry or vengeful. Banks said the young man wanted to know if he could meet with Marti, who he didn’t even know, and ask him the question on everyone’s mind: What was he thinking?

Banks contacted Marti’s attorney, Terry Smith of Oak Harbor, and they set up the unusual meeting. They all met in Banks’ office. The attorneys mainly listened as the two young men hashed things out.

“It was quite a remarkable meeting,” Banks said. “Not something we see very often in the criminal justice system.”

Banks said he was particularly impressed with Fanelli’s wisdom and compassion. After the meeting, Fanelli concluded that he didn’t want to see Marti’s life ruined by one stupid mistake, but that there should be some consequences.

 

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