Archive for the ‘Top story of the day’ Category

Honoring Sheriff Wiester

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  The Board of (Lewis) County Commissioners proclaimed today Sheriff William H. “Bill” Wiester Day throughout the county to recognize the former sheriff’s contributions to public service.

Wiester passed away Sept. 21, at age 91. A celebration of life was scheduled for today at Bethel Church of the Assemblies of God, south of Chehalis.

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William H. “Bill” Wiester
1926 – 2017

He was the longest serving sheriff in the county’s history, first elected in 1966 and continuing in the position for 20 years.

County commissioners in issuing their proclamation noted how Wiester started with the sheriff’s office as the resident deputy in Randle, was a long-time first aid instructor and was instrumental in initiating the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office K-9 program.

He served as president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

“He was proud of his time spent with his bloodhounds, Ole Blue and Maggie, and his reputation for search-and-rescue missions proceeded him, with state other and local agencies contacting him to spearhead searches for missing children,” the document stated.

In May of 1980, after the catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens, U.S. Army leaders turned to the three county sheriffs with jurisdiction over the blast zone and the Toledo Airport where search and rescue operations were based, and suggested it would work best if the three chose a leader to represent their group. They chose Sheriff Wiester.

Wiester was born Jan. 9, 1926, living in Morton, according to his obituary, and after high school went into military service as a Merchant Marine. His work before law enforcement included a state fire warden, a cannery worker and logging. He married Jeanne Olson on March 1, 1945 and they raised three children.

“The sheriff’s reputation as a gifted storyteller and his steadfast dedication to public service has created a legacy that will be remembered by many for generations,” the Lewis County BOCC wrote.

Half dozen young people implicated in beating teen in retaliation for Wal-Mart stabbing

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Four people were arrested overnight and two teenage suspects are at large in connection with a nighttime baseball bat attack on a 19-year-old rural Chehalis resident which he believes was retaliation from when a friend of his recently stabbed a person outside Wal-Mart, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office only this morning revealed the assault occurred, about 1 a.m. on Friday at the 200 block of Brockway Road.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said deputies learned the 19-year-old male had been walking his dog when a car pulled up at the entrance to his driveway and an individual wearing a red bandana exited and asked him what he was doing.

The 19-year-old victim said a male and a female then got out of the vehicle and confronted him. At one point, he said, they were armed with bats and hit him in the head two or three times, according to Breen. The victim suffered lacerations and bumps, Breen said.

The car, which he thought was a white 1990s Honda Accord-type vehicle, then left driving toward state Route 6, according to the sheriff’s office.

Breen said an investigation and interviews beginning about 9:30 p.m. yesterday led to the arrests and booking of four suspects for second-degree assault.

The first is a 16-year-old Chehalis girl who was not named, and was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center.

Booked into the Lewis County Jail were Victor E. Gonzalez, 18, of Centralia; Jesus A. Gomez, 19, of Centralia; and Taylor S. Rodgers, 20, of Chehalis.

The other two suspects who have not yet been located are Stormie M. McKenzie, 19, from Winlock, and an un-named 17-year-old boy from North Bend, according to Breen.

Two weeks ago, officers were dispatched for a fight between two males in Wal-Mart’s parking lot at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis, but when they arrived both were gone. Police soon learned a 17-year-old boy  was seeking medical treatment at Providence Centralia Hospital for a stab wound in his chest. Friends of the 17-year-old in the hospital waiting room said he’d gotten into a fight with another male who stabbed him.

The following day Jose F. Chagolla Flores, 18, of Onalaska, and his vehicle were found at a friend’s home on Brockway Road and he was arrested for first-degree assault.

Chagolla Flores allegedly told police he was meeting someone at Wal-Mart to sell them some marijuana when the 17-year-old showed up and knocked him down, so he stabbed him.

The adult suspects for the baseball bat attack are tentatively scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.
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For background, read “Chehalis Wal-Mart stabbing suspect says teen hit him first” from Tuesday October 10, 2017, here

Mossyrock resident admits to felony DUI

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  The Mossyrock man arrested less than three weeks ago for felony driving under the influence pleaded guilty this morning and was sentenced in Lewis County Superior Court.

James G. Blunt, 51, was facing a standard sentencing range of 13 to 17 months in prison. The judge imposed a 15-month sentence, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said.

“We gave him a little slack because he pled out right away,” Meagher said.

He wanted to plead guilty back at his arraignment, Meagher said.

Blunt was arrested early on the morning of Sept. 29, pulled over for speeding on Centralia Alpha Road near Oppelt Road.

Charging documents stated he told the deputy he’d consumed about half the Mike’s Hard Lemonade alcohol beverage with him in his vehicle and had about four hits of marijuana roughly five minutes earlier.

The offense was a felony for Blunt instead of a gross misdemeanor because he has a past conviction for vehicular homicide while under the influence. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison after striking and killing a bicyclist near Mossyrock while intoxicated in 2001.

Meagher said he appreciated Blunt’s attitude, saying the defendant had been staying on a program since his release from prison, and although he fell off, so to speak, he said he’d he’d just take the next year and a half to get back in line.
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For background, read “Mossyrock man charged with felony driving under the influence” from Saturday September 30, 2017, here

Centralia mother pleads guilty to severe neglect of son

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
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Mary G. Foxworth keeps her head down as she leaves the defense table in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia mother of boy who at 16 years old was so malnourished he weighed less than 60 pounds pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Her husband made the same plea last week.

Mary G. Foxworth, 43, admitted to a judge in Lewis County Superior Court she failed to provide basic necessities of life, recklessly causing great bodily harm.

Foxworth, seated beside her lawyer Jacob Clark, answered the judge’s questions so quietly in the nearly empty courtroom, she could barely be heard.

Judge Joely O’Rourke queried her, to make sure she was capable of understanding the proceedings. The last grade Foxworth completed in school was the ninth grade, she said.

The couple entered into deals with prosecutors to plead guilty as charged and avoid a trial, in which if so-called aggravating circumstances were added and they were convicted, a judge would be free to sentence them to up to 10 years in prison.

The standard sentencing range they will face at sentencing is 51 months to 68 months of incarceration.

The charges were filed at the end of last year, after an investigation that began almost a year earlier. The couple has not been held in jail.

Prosecutors alleged the boy had not seen a doctor since 2007 and had not been enrolled in school since 2011, yet had two siblings who appeared healthy and presented little concern.

The situation came to light when the Foxworths took their son to the doctor in January of 2016, saying he had not been eating or drinking for about three weeks and had abdominal pain. Medical providers described him as skin and bones, whiter than a sheet of paper and he was hospitalized, suffering from severe malnutrition, severe constipation and anemia, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm.

Bohm alleged further he weighed just 54 pounds, was missing patches of hair, could not stand on his own, was wearing pull-ups and needed 24 of his teeth treated when he was seen by a dentist.

Charging documents don’t indicate when he he was put in foster care, but state that at some point before December 2016, he had grown more than three inches and his weight increased to 93 pounds.

No further explanation has been shared by authorities, except Mary Foxworth reportedly said she didn’t know when her son began to lose weight because she was too wrapped up in her own depression.

She was accompanied in court yesterday by two women, who left with her after the short hearing.

Anthony S. Foxworth Sr., 45, and his wife are scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1. in Lewis County Superior Court.
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For background, read “‘Skin and bones’: Parents charged with severe neglect of teen” from Thursday January 5, 2017, here

Jasper: Defendant who won appeal in toddler death has a decision to make

Saturday, October 14th, 2017
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Danny Wing finishes up with his lawyer after hearing in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Danny A. Wing’s lawyer wanted a year for his client to decide if he ought to withdraw his guilty plea, but a Lewis County Superior Court judge yesterday said no.

Wing was convicted and then sentenced two years ago following a complex plea deal, for his role in the abuse, neglect and death of a 3-year-old boy who was temporarily part of his family’s household.

Jasper Henderling-Warner died in October 2014.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

Wing had hoped to get a prison sentence of 15 or 16 years, but prosecutors argued he didn’t hold up his end of the deal and asked he be locked up for 55 years. A judge imposed a sentence of almost 35 years.

But then earlier this year, an appeals court found Wing’s plea was premised on an incorrect offender score and reversed the convictions, allowing Wing to withdraw the plea. The convictions are for first-degree manslaughter and third-degree child assault.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer has said if Wing withdrew his plea, prosecutors would take the case to trial. The original charge included homicide by abuse as an alternative.

Yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh told the judge she could not find a good reason for further delay.

“The next step her is Mr. Wing is going to decide if he’s going to withdraw his guilty plea,” Beigh said. “Also, we’re dealing with crime victims here, and their rights.”

Judge Andrew Toynbee agreed with Beigh, and said he felt 30 days would be sufficient.

The judge set a deadline for 5 p.m. on Nov. 13 for Wing, through his attorney, to file in writing his withdrawal of his plea. Toynbee said failure to do so would mean his previous guilty plea remains in effect.

A hearing for review was put on the court calendar for Nov. 16.

Wing, now 29, is represented by Vancouver attorney Sean Downs.

His wife Brenda A. Wing got the same sentence as her husband and has won the same opportunity to withdraw her pleas.

The Vancouver-area family had been living in Vader about two weeks when the Wings called 911 on Oct. 5, 2014 to say the toddler was unconscious and not breathing. Jasper’s 21-year-old mother had given the couple temporary custody while she was homeless and looked for work out of state. Jasper died at Providence Centralia Hospital.

The autopsy found abrasions, bruises, facial trauma and healing fractures and labeled the cause of death as chronic battered child syndrome. Jasper was suffering from skin infections that were found to be secondary to his cause of death.

Danny Wing’s formal statement said he recklessly Jasper’s death by failing to get medical care for him.
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For background, read “Jasper: Toddler death case in limbo as defendant contemplates options” from Tuesday October 10, 2017, here

Two hurt in Centralia trailer explosion

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – An explosion that blew out the sides of a travel trailer in north Centralia today sent two people to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Firefighters were called to a mobile home park along the 3300 block of Harrison Avenue about 12:30 p.m. and found the trailer had been occupied by a man and a woman in their late 40s to 50s and their dog.

The woman’s suffered first- and second-degree burns from her waist to her head, according to Riverside Fire Authority. She was airlifted to Harborview, according to Fire Capt. Scott Weinert.

The man was transported by ground to Providence Centralia Hospital in stable but serious condition, but subsequently flown to Seattle as well, according to Weinert.

Weinert indicated the force of the event caused significant damage to the 25-foot travel trailer.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation, although it was initially described as a propane-fueled explosion by RFA on Twitter

The couple’s dog was taken to a local veterinarian by a private party, according to the fire department.

Vader barn emptied of illegal marijuana grow operation

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Updated at 4:42 p.m.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS –  Law enforcement searching a huge barn in Vader converted into separate growing rooms found a 55-year-old man inside a makeshift bedroom and seized more than 600 marijuana plants along with approximately 50 pounds of “processed bud.”

Jing Ming Gao, 55, from Brooklyn, New York, was arrested, according to drug detectives.

The search warrant operation took place on the 1900 block of state Route 506 west of Vader on Wednesday, according to a press release issued by Lewis County’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team.

The bust is part of an ongoing investigation that began in December involving illegal large-scale indoor marijuana growing operations throughout Lewis County. Search warrants have been served at five different locations and hundreds of pounds of marijuana and about 6,000 plants have been confiscated, according to JNET.

“Aiding in these investigations has been the communication and networking with law enforcement agencies from New York and the East Coast,” JNET stated.

The task force previously said it believed all the marijuana from this investigation is shipped to the East Coast.

Detectives found the 4,200 square-foot barn in Vader had been converted into several separate rooms for growing the plants.

The almost nine-acre property was sold in August of last year for $80,000 to an individual with an address in Pennsylvania, according to Lewis County parcel records.

Gao was released from the Lewis County Jail yesterday as no criminal charges were filed. While his age was given as 55, JNET’s press release shows a birthdate for Gao which would make him 62 years old.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said today they didn’t have any proof Gao was involved in the actual growing of the plants.

JNET states that additional suspects have been identified in their investigation and warrants will be requested for their arrests.

It was just two weeks earlier when JNET found more than 2,000 marijuana plants growing at two rural Chehalis properties – on Centralia-Alpha Road and Pattee Road – and arrested two men.

The drug detectives ask that anyone who has information that would assist during the ongoing investigation to please contact them at 360-330-7680, or 360-748-9286 or Crime Stoppers South Sound at www.P3TIPS.com

Coroner confirms murder, suicide in Winlock

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Authorities have released the names of the two men fatally shot in a murder, suicide in Winlock but still have offered no explanation for why it might have occurred.

Jeffry C. Wachter, age 59, of Malone, allegedly used a handgun to shoot his 56-year-old brother multiple times and then turned the gun on himself.

Paul Wachter, 56, of Winlock, died of gunshot wounds to his torso, head and left arm, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office.

It happened on Sunday evening at property at the 600 block of Tennessee Road north of town.

Deputies and aid had been at the address that afternoon, rescuing the men’s older sister who had fallen into a well. The older brother had been asked to leave because he was arguing with his younger brother and being disruptive, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office has said.

She was finally hoisted to the surface just before 5:30 p.m. and taken to the hospital; and crews had departed when Jeffry Wachter returned with a gun, according to the sheriff’s office. Law enforcement was notified about 6:30 p.m. that he’d shot his brother and then himself.

The Lewis County Coroner’s Office issued a press release today revealing the names and stating the coroner confirmed both men died of gunshot wounds and labeled the older brother’s death as suicide and the younger brother’s as homicide.
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For background, read “Two dead after family dispute in Winlock” from Monday October 9, 2017, here

Centralia couple facing four years of prison for severe neglect of son

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
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Anthony Foxworth Sr. and his attorney go before a judge today in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia parents of a boy who at 16 years old was so malnourished he weighed less than 60 pounds, couldn’t stand on his own and was missing patches of hair are pleading guilty to criminal charges after a deal was struck with prosecutors, rather than risk going to trial.

Anthony Foxworth Sr., 45, pleaded guilty today in Lewis County Superior Court as charged, to one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment. His wife is scheduled to plead guilty next week, based on the same agreement, according to her lawyer.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer today told the judge he would be recommending a prison term of four years and three months.

The charges were filed at the end of last year, after an investigation that began almost a year earlier. The couple has not been held in jail.

The Centralia Police Department got involved after the Foxworth’s took their son to the doctor because he had abdominal pain, and his condition was such that he was put in Mary Bridge Childrens’ Hospital in Tacoma. Allegations in charging documents included that the teen had not been enrolled in school since 2011 and had not seen a doctor since 2007.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote in charging documents he had a younger brother and sister who were in school, appeared healthy and presented little concern.

But he was wearing pull-ups and his skeletal age was determined to be that of a 13-year-old child, Bohm wrote. The boy was put in foster care where he began to gain weight and grow taller.

No explanation has been shared by authorities, except, according to Bohm, Mary Foxworth said she thought he was starving himself because he was depressed; and admitted she didn’t know when he began to lose weight because she was too wrapped up in her own depression.

Her attorney Jacob Clark today said, outside the hearing, the risks of going to trial were too great, because if found guilty a judge could impose a much longer sentence.

“You go from a standard (sentencing) range of 51 to 68 months, all the way up to (potentially) 10 years,” Clark said.

Anthony Foxworth’s lawyer Chris Baum spoke of the same issue regarding his client in the proceeding this afternoon before Judge Joely O’Rourke.

“I told him he doesn’t have to plead, if you don’t want to we could go to trial,” Baum said. “But if we go to trial, the state’s made it clear, they’re going to put a bunch of aggravators on it.”

Today’s hearing didn’t last more than five minutes. Judge O’Rourke accepted the plea and found Foxworth Sr. guilty.

Baum outside the courtroom said part of the plea agreement is prosecutors will recommend the low end of the standard sentencing range.

“It’s kind of a sad situation all the way around,” Baum said. “He didn’t intend for this to happen and I know he feels bad.”

The legal standard for the offense is recklessness, he said, not intent.

The couple are both set to be sentenced on Nov. 1.
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For background, read “‘Skin and bones’: Parents charged with severe neglect of teen” from Thursday January 5, 2017, here

Chehalis police seek help finding elderly woman

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
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Missing, Hilda Wenz

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chehalis police are asking residents to look around their yards and inside outbuildings this morning as they search for an elderly woman who has not been seen since midnight.

Hilda Wenz, 92, was last seen at the assisted living facility where she resides on the 400 block of Northwest Quincy Place in Chehalis.

“When they checked on her this morning at approximately 8 a.m., they were unable to locate her,” Chehalis Police Department spokesperson Linda Bailey stated in a press release.

Wenz has no mobility issues for her age and can walk unassisted, according to police. Bailey said Wenz is unfamiliar with the area.

She is about 4-foot 10-inches tall, weighs about 135 pounds and is described as a white female with white hair. It is unknown what clothing she may have been wearing.

A Silver Alert has been issued.

Chehalis West Assisted Living Center is located in a neighborhood just west of downtown and east of Interstate 5, on Quincy at Northwest Gertrude Street. Its sits adjacent to a set of railroad tracks.

Police are asking the public to assist by looking around on their property for Wenz. Anyone who may have seen her is asked to call the police department at 360-748-8605 or Lewis County dispatch at 360-740-1105.

Chehalis Wal-Mart stabbing suspect says teen hit him first

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
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Jose F. Chagolla Flores steps away from the defense table after his bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Onalaska teen who allegedly stabbed another teen in the chest in Wal-Mart’s parking lot told police he was engaged with someone else when the 17-year-old showed up and hit him in the face hard enough to knock him to the ground, according to authorities.

Eighteen-year-old Jose F. Chagolla Flores said he got up off the ground, was “hell mad” and tired from working – and hates to be hit in the face – so he pulled out his knife and stabbed the 17-year-old, according to charging documents.

Chagolla Flores was ordered held on $500,000 bail when he went before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. He was charged with first-degree assault.

The condition of the 17-year-old victim, who has not been named, is unknown.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sara Beigh told the judge the allegation is the boy was stabbed in the heart. She said in a conversation with a detective, the suspect claimed to be a gang member.

Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller said her client lives with his mother, who was in the courtroom along with his father. He has juvenile “matters” that are sealed, she said.

Tiller said he was working but probably has now lost his employment so she believed he qualified for a court-appointed lawyer.

According to the Chehalis Police Department and charging documents, officers were dispatched just before 9 p.m. on Thursday for a fight between two males at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue. Wal-Mart employees told them on was white and the other was black, charging documents relate.

The males had already left in separate vehicles.

Soon after, police were advised of a 17-year-old boy who was seeking medical treatment at Providence Centralia Hospital for a stab wound. They contacted the patient, who was not cooperative with officers. He was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and would later go through surgery to repair the damage done by the knife.

Friends of the 17-year-old in the hospital waiting room said he’d gotten into a fight with another male who stabbed him. The friends gave police a name for the suspect.

The following day, Chagolla Flores was located at a friend’s home. His vehicle was found at a residence on Brockway Road and was impounded.

Chagolla Flores reportedly gave a statement to police, that he had been meeting a third party at Wal-Mart to sell marijuana and they were about to do the transaction when the 17-year-old showed up. And then he relayed his account of what transpired.

He was arrested and “the knife” was located in his backpack which was with him.

“Officers did not see any injuries to Chagollan’s face and when asked he stated he had injuries except to one on his hand which was caused from the knife,” Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead wrote in charging documents.

Charging documents gave his name as Jose F. Chagollan Flores and Chehalis police stated yesterday his name was Jose Chagollan. Tiller advised the court the “N” at the end was incorrect.

His arraignment is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday in  Lewis County Superior Court.

The Chehalis Police Department yesterday morning indicated the condition of the victim and extent of his injuries were unknown. Department spokesperson Linda Bailey this afternoon said she still had not learned that information.
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For background, read “One injured, one arrested following stabbing outside Wal-Mart” from Monday October 9, 2017, here

Victim survived hour and 15 minutes inside well, before further tragedy in Winlock

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The fire department in Winlock shared details of its weekend rescue of a woman from near the bottom of an approximately 50-foot deep well.

She was reportedly unhurt, but spent more than an hour with a foot hold that kept her in waist-deep water while responders carried out an extrication, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

It’s not yet clear how it might be related but later the same evening, on Sunday, one of the woman’s brothers allegedly shot and killed a younger brother and then himself at the same property. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the two deaths; no names have been released.

Firefighters and deputies were called at 4:14 p.m. on Sunday to the 600 block of Tennessee Road north of Winlock, because the woman had been attempted to disinfect the well with chlorine when the floorboards broke loose and she fell into the well, according to authorities.

Responders found she was conscious and she told them she was not injured, according to Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson. They learned she was initially completely submerged, but was able to swim to the water’s surface and find a foothold, Anderson stated in a press release.

The sheriff’s office described her as trapped by debris which had collapsed through the opening.

The hand dug well was inside a pump house and crews had to stabilize the area to prevent a pump, a pressure tank and more flooring from tumbling down on top of the woman, according to Anderson.

Rope rescue technicians from the Centralia area’s Riverside Fire Authority were summoned and a hole had to be cut in the roof of the structure to provide access for a rope and pulley system. Firefighters lowered a life vest and helmet down to the vicim for protection, according to Anderson.

She remained conscious and communicating throughout the operation, he said.

A rescue harness was lowered and the woman was finally hoisted to the surface at approximately 5:29 p.m., Anderson stated.

The sheriff’s office said yesterday morning the woman is 64 years old, but later indicated she is 63 years old.

Anderson said in his press release she was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital in stable condition, but didn’t know specifically for what reason.

The sheriff’s office has said that during the rescue operation, the woman’s 59-year-old brother was disruptive and arguing with his 56-year-old brother, so he was asked to leave.

Deputies were called back to the property at about 6:30 p.m., when witnesses said the 59-year-old man had returned with a handgun and shot his 56-year-old brother multiple times before turning the gun on himself. Rescue crews had all departed before that occurred, according to Chief Deputy Dusty Breen.

The Lewis County Coroner’s Office is expected to release the names of the two men once they have completed family notifications for both.
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For background, read “Two dead after family dispute in Winlock” from Monday October 9, 2017, here

Jasper: Toddler death case in limbo as defendant contemplates options

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
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Danny Wing, in red, appears before Judge Andrew Toynbee

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Danny A. Wing was back in court in Chehalis this morning after winning an appeal that allows him to take back his guilty pleas in the death of a 3-year-old boy he and his wife were caring for.

Wing was sentenced to almost 35 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter and third-degree child assault following the Oct. 5, 2014 death of Jasper Henderling-Warner.

The family, with three children of their own and from the Vancouver area, had  been living in Vader about two weeks when the Wings called 911 to say the toddler was unconscious and not breathing. The coroner concluded Jasper died of chronic battered child syndrome.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

In February of this year, a division of the Washington State Court of Appeals concluded Wing’s plea was premised on an incorrect offender score for the third degree assault of a child conviction, rendering the plea involuntary. At the time, Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said if Wing withdrew his plea, prosecutors would take the case to trial.

Wing, now 29, appeared in Lewis County Superior Court this morning, represented by Vancouver attorney Sean Downs.

Representing the state before Judge Andrew Toynbee were Lewis County senior deputy prosecutors Will Halstead and Sara Beigh. Jasper’s mother, flanked by supporters, was in the audience.

The hearing was brief, and a longer hearing was set for 2 p.m. this Friday, to determine what happens next, according to Beigh.

Wing’s wife, Brenda A. Wing, was convicted and sentenced similarly to her husband, and won an appeal on the exact same issue.

Beigh said she’s not sure when Brenda Wing will be brought back to  Lewis County Superior Court, as she has petitioned for review by the Washington State Supreme Court on part of the appeal she lost.

Danny Wing also had petitioned for review but the higher court declined to do so, according to Beigh.
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For background, read “Appeals court reverses conviction in Vader child death” from Friday March 3, 2017, here