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Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Man charged in Gorge violence; bail to be revoked on his Mardi Gras charges

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Aaron Slaughter, who became a symbol of the Mardi Gras melee when he was photographed wielding brass knuckles, has been charged in connection with the weekend violence at the Gorge Amphitheatre.

Authorities said Slaughter, 19, and another man were armed with BB guns, tried to rob several people and in one case succeeded Saturday at the crowded campground at the Gorge in George, Grant County.

Slaughter, who has been charged with two counts of being an accomplice to first-degree robbery, is being held in the Grant County Jail in Ephrata.

His weekend arrest means the bail on the charges from the Feb. 27 Mardi Gras will be revoked because one of the conditions of his King County release was that he have no violations, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County prosecutor.

Slaughter is to stand trial on the charges stemming from the Mardi Gras violence Sept. 25 in King County Superior Court, but with the new charges he could be tried in Grant County first.

When Slaughter returns to King County to face trial, Donohoe said, he will be held without bail.

More than a dozen people were arrested late Friday and early Saturday when fights erupted in the Gorge campground. About 20,000 people had gathered at the Gorge for Friday's KUBE Summer Jam, a daylong hip-hop extravaganza.

In March, Slaughter pleaded not guilty to rioting and second-degree assault in the Mardi Gras riots where, prosecutors say, videotape and news photos showed him wearing brass knuckles, squaring off with another man and striking others.

Slaughter posted a $3,000 bail after Seattle District Court Judge Mariane Spearman denied prosecutors' request that Slaughter be held on $100,000 bail, because the primary evidence against him came from videotape and news photos.

If Slaughter is convicted of the Grant County charges, it could increase the sentence he would receive if convicted of the Mardi Gras crimes, Donohoe said.

When Slaughter appeared in court in March, his relatives were there to support him, telling one reporter he was a "good kid" and attributing his behavior during Mardi Gras to drinking.

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