Newcastle eye surgeon pleads not guilty in murder plot

November 18, 2009

UPDATED — 5:19 p.m. Nov. 18, 2009

Michael Mockovak, 51, of Newcastle, was charged Monday with two counts of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder. Today, he pleaded not guilty to both counts.

King County prosecutors said in charging papers that Mockovak, a surgeon for Clearly Lasik, sought to have his business partner, Joseph King, and former Clearly Lasik President Brad Klock killed.

Mockovak is being held on $2 million bail, and he is prohibited from contacting King and his family, as well as Klock and his family. Mockovak was also forced to surrender his passport.

If Mockovak is convicted as charged, he will face 30 to 40 years in prison. He will return to court Dec. 16 for a case setting hearing to schedule a trial date.

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And the Diamond Award winners are…

November 18, 2009

NEW — 4:53 p.m. Nov. 18, 2009

This year’s Diamond Awards were presented to outstanding members of the community today during the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon.

Five awards are given each year, typically one in each of the following categories: business, youth, senior, education and community.

The chamber of commerce awarded Sandra Wixon, owner of chocolate shop Sweet Decadence, with the business award.

The chamber awarded the youth award to both Clay Strom and Jay Chakravarty. Strom helped co-organize the first Newcastle 5K Run, and Chakravarty with the Boy Scouts.

The chamber presented the senior award to Giles Velte — board member of Newcastle Trails — and it presented the education award to Jane Keskimaki — chair of the Hazelwood Elementary School PTSA.

Finally, the chamber of commerce presented the community award to Grace Stiller, for her extensive volunteer work.