Chan H. Oscar faces a judge in Lewis County Superior Court on charges of first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Updated at 10:11 a.m.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Bail was set yesterday afternoon at $500,000 for the 36-year-old man accused of shooting and injuring his cousin in Chehalis.
Chan H. Oscar appeared in Lewis County Superior Court where temporary defense lawyer Joely O’Rourke said she believed he qualified for court appointed counsel.
Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm argued for the high bail noting Oscar has five superior court cases in his past and an in-progress driving under the influence case.
O’Rourke said her client’s only felony was an eluding case in 2007.
He’s lived here for the past 15 years, has very strong ties and family in the area, O’Rourke said as she appealed to the judge for lesser bail of $50,000.
Oscar is charged with first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
He was arrested shortly after midnight Wednesday when police stopped a vehicle that left a residence he’s been known to stay at, a few blocks from the scene, about three and half hours after the shooting.
Authorities initially said they learned from witnesses that Oscar was walking on the sidewalk on Southwest William Avenue near Fourth Street and fired a round at his cousin’s passing car, and when the car stopped, approached and fired another round which went through his cousin’s hand as he held it by his head to block it.
Charging documents give a slightly different account, making no mention of the suspect walking along the sidewalk beforehand. The court documents state Oscar was a passenger in a sport utility vehicle being driven by a female, and that he got out when the blue Honda pulled into the area, and the rest unfolded.
The un-named female told police Oscar and his cousin, Kevin St. Catherine, had gotten into a verbal argument beforehand.
St. Catherine, 36, from Chehalis, was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital where he was treated and then transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He is listed in satisfactory condition this morning.
Police said they didn’t have a motive for the shooting, but charging documents state that when he was being searched, Oscar turned to one of the officers and asked if he knew what his cousin had done to him first.
Chehalis police said they recovered a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun; charging documents said the loaded handgun was found on his person.
Oscar, who is a Chehalis resident, has six convictions for fourth-degree assault in the past 15 years, including one stemming from an incident in a downtown Centralia bar where he was arrested after a tussle and he stabbed two men. He and his lawyer contended it was self-defense and he made an Alford plea and spent seven weeks in jail.
His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.
Also arrested was 50-year-old Lenard A. Carlile who was a passenger in the vehicle that police found Oscar in. Carlile was charged yesterday with rendering criminal assistance.
Charging documents state that at one point during the manhunt, an officer spoke to Carlile who was on his porch on the 700 block of Pacific Avenue and asked if he’d seen anybody (black or white) about 6 feet tall in the area. He said he hadn’t.
O’Rourke told the judge yesterday afternoon Carlile has worked at Dennys and lived nearby for the past 10 years, in suggesting he was not a big flight risk.
She pointed out his family and friends were in the courtroom to support him.
Judge James Lawler set his bail at $10,000.
Carlile’s grown daughter Crystal Carlile said outside the courtroom her dad didn’t know Oscar was wanted, that Oscar is just a guy her dad allowed to stay at his place in the recent past.
Her brother was driving, and they were just headed to get a bite to eat or something, she said.
His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday as well.
For background, read “Police: Chehalis resident jailed for shooting cousin on neighborhood street” from Thursday May 14, 2015, here