Archive for March, 2011

News brief: Training fire scheduled near Rochester High School

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters plan to burn down a Grand Mound area house to clear some property owned by the Rochester School District.

The training fire adjacent to Rochester High School is scheduled to take place on May 14, a Saturday.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority expects to begin interior exercises at 8 a.m. and conclude between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. with defensive operations, according to Battalion Chief Jacob Yake.

Th school district donated the building to the fire department, according to Yake.

The address is 19735 Carper Rd S.W.

Yake notes Carper Road will be closed at Old Highway 9 and near 197th Avenue Southwest.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

TWO POLICE PURSUITS OVERNIGHT END WITH ARRESTS

• A 31-year-old man wanted for probation violations led deputies on a high-speed pursuit overnight – a good portion of it on two spiked and flattened tires – through Littlerock and Rochester before driving into a ditch and being arrested. It began when an Olympia police officer on his way home contacted the driver near the Ritchie Brothers complex on Case Road Southwest, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Donald M. Bush, listed as transient, had a Department of Corrections warrant for second-degree escape from community custody, meaning he had not been in proper contact with his community corrections officer, according to Lt. Greg Elwin. Bush sped away in his 2007 Ford Escape reaching speeds of 100 mph as two sheriff’ deputies got behind him, Elwin said. His tires were spiked at Littlerock Road near 130th Avenue yet he continued to Mima Road Southwest and then Bordeaux Road Southwest before coming to rest in a ditch, according to Elwin. The pursuit covered sixteen miles in 14 minutes, Elwin said. Bush reportedly told the officers he knew he would be going back to prison if he were caught. Bush was booked into the Thurston County Jail for eluding a police vehicle.

• A 17-year-old driver was arrested after he reportedly screeched his Crown Victoria sideways through a Chehalis intersection last night in front of sheriff’s deputies standing outside a door at the sheriff’s office evidence facility. Deputies jumped in their patrol cars and when they rounded a corner, observed the car stopped up on the curb atop the remnants of a concrete planter it had pushed nearly a block, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened about 10:30 p.m. The teenager was arrested for driving under the influence and turned over to a sober driver, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

TWO ARRESTED FOR BURNING CAR FOUND IN ONALASKA

• A Honda Civic found burning off Kruger Road in Onalaska earlier this month led to the arrest yesterday of two individuals who had reportedly stolen the car and lit in on fire to try to hide it, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives yesterday arrested James A. Bitner, 28, of Centralia for second-degree arson. His accomplice, Courtney R. Blurton, 24, of Onalaksa was also arrested, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown. The vehicle had been stolen on Feb. 26 from Coal Creek Road.

VEHICLE PROWLS

• Centralia police were called yesterday to the 2800 block of Russell Road where tools had been stolen from the back of a truck overnight.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday morning of jewelry stolen from a vehicle on the 1000 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia.

Partial skull discovered near Mineral is an adult

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The partial human skull found near Mineral on Saturday appears to be from an adult, but detectives don’t know if it belongs to a male or a female, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this afternoon.

They’re hopeful there is enough DNA to help identity the individual, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this afternoon.

It was found by a hiker in a wooded area and will be sent to a forensic pathologist for further examination.

“We really don’t know how long its been out there,” Brown said. “Weather conditions affect that, and we’re not experts.”

The find was reported Saturday and detectives, along with two dogs, have searched the area for potential evidence, according to Brown. It was in a brushy area on the ground, she said.

Brown said she expects members of Lewis County Search and Rescue to go out there and help look sometime in the next couple of weeks.

“We did find other evidence, or potential evidence at the scene,” she said, without specifying what it was.

The sheriff’s office isn’t saying how much of the skull was recovered or even a location more specific than near Mineral.

“Until we know what we have and what kind of an investigation we’re looking at, we’re not releasing a lot,” Brown said.

Its too early to consider what missing persons it could match up to, according to Brown. She did say they don’t have any indication its Kayla Croft-Payne, who vanished almost a year ago at age 18.

Mineral is along state Route 7, near where the Lewis, Pierce and Thurston county lines meet.

Besides Croft-Payne, who was living in the Chehalis area when she disappeared, the sheriff’s office lists two other missing persons on its web site.

Henri W. Maillard, 20, disappeared in July 1994 after a drive up the Skate Creek Road near Packwood with a friend, according to the sheriff’s office.

Delmar W. Sample, a 53-year-old pharmacist from Onalaska, failed to report to work in Chehalis in March 2005. Sample’s truck was found near Lake Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula.

Registered sex offender notice: Man moves to Chehalis

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced this week a level three registered sex offender in Lewis County recently changed addresses and now lives in Chehalis.

Waylon B. Huestis, 30, is living on the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue.

Huestis is not wanted by law enforcement, but notification to the community is meant to inform the public and enhance public safety, according to the sheriff’s office.

Huestis was released from prison last October after a conviction a little more than 10 years ago in which he, at age 19, sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl, according to the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victim reported he used physical force to overcome her resistance, according to sheriff’s detective Jamey McGinty.

The conviction was second-degree child rape.

He is on Department of Corrections supervision for three years following his release.

The sheriff’s office designated him as a level three sex offender, meaning they believe he has a high risk to reoffend.

Huestis is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 156 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

To see more details from the bulletin and a photo of Huestis, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office web site level three sex offender page, here.

Questions? The sheriff’s office says call 360-748-9286 for detective McGinty or Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber.
•••

To search for registered sex offenders living within a specified radius from your home, work or school, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Offender Watch page, here.  There, you can also find safety tips and other information, as well as register to receive email alerts if a new offender registers with an address near you. The same link can always be found on the sidebar of Lewis County Sirens.

Registered sex offender notice: Man returns to Mossyrock area

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office announced a level three registered sex offender in Lewis County who left for a short time returned to his Mossyrock area home.

Dale G. DeHaven, 53, is living on the 100 block of Winston Creek Road.

DeHaven is not wanted by law enforcement, but notification to the community is meant to inform the public and enhance public safety, according to the sheriff’s office.

DeHaven was released from prison in 2005 after a 1993 conviction for the violent sexual assault of an 8-year-old female who was the daughter of a casual acquaintance, according to sheriff’s detective Jamey McGinty. The conviction was first-degree child rape.

Before that, he served time in prison in connection with the violent assault of a 76-year-old neighbor woman, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office designated him as a level three sex offender, meaning they believe he has a high risk to reoffend.

DeHaven is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes.

To see more details from the bulletin and a photo of DeHaven, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office web site level three sex offender page, here.

Questions? The sheriff’s office says call 360-748-9286 for detective McGinty or Chief Criminal Deputy Gene Seiber.
•••

To search for registered sex offenders living within a specified radius from your home, work or school, visit the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Offender Watch page, here.  There, you can also find safety tips and other information, as well as register to receive email alerts if a new offender registers with an address near you. The same link can always be found on the sidebar of Lewis County Sirens.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

VEHICLE VERSUS CHILD IN CENTRALIA

• A 12-year-old boy on a bicycle was struck by a pickup truck yesterday at the stoplight on Harrison Avenue and the southbound freeway off ramp in Centralia, according to police.. Officers called about 2 p.m. reported the boy – a Centralia resident – sustained a serious injury to his foot. The details are still being investigated, according to the Centralia Police Department. The child was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment. His name was not released.

THEFT

• A light blue 1991 Mazda pickup truck was stolen from a driveway on the 1000 block of Long Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• Somebody stole a five-ton floor jack and other items from the 2600 block of Harrison Avenue outside Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy called last night learned it was taken sometime in the previous month along with a Kenmore dryer, irrigation pipes, a farm implement and miscellaneous scrap metal. The loss is estimated at $1,000.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report yesterday of a brick thrown at a car parked in front of a house on the 800 block of H Street.

• An officer was called to the 600 block of Hamilton Avenue in Centralia yesterday where a windshield was shattered and a rock found inside the vehicle.

• Chehalis police took a report late yesterday afternoon of a vehicle’s’ outside mirror damaged by a brick on Northwest Florida Avenue.

RESISTING ARREST

• A 21-year-old Toledo man was jailed last night after he ran from deputies investigating a report of a suspicious person on the 100 block of Collins Road near Toledo. Darrell R. Jackson was arrested for a warrant and for resisting arrest after the approximately 8:30 p.m. call.

DRUGS

• Police called about noon yesterday to Centralia Middle School arrested two student for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The boys, ages 13 and 15, were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center.

Breaking news: Skull found in woods near Mineral

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a partial human skull found by a hiker on Saturday near Mineral.

Detectives, with help from members of Lewis County Search and Rescue, are continuing to search the wooded area for potential evidence, according to a news release this morning.

The skull will be sent to a forensic pathologist for further examination, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown.

More to come

Prosecutor Meyer decides against pursuing death penalty for John Booth Jr.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This news story was updated at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday March 30, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The death penalty is off the table for John Allen Booth Jr., a defendant in last August’s triple slaying inside a Salkum-Onalaska area home.

Booth, 31, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of David J. West Jr., 16, and Tony E. Williams, 50, of Randle.

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Deputies investigate off Gore Road on Aug. 21, 2010

He is also charged in the death of David J. West Sr. 52, and the non-fatal shooting of 51-year-old Denise Salts. He has pleaded not guilty.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer filed notice on Friday he will not seek the death penalty if Booth is convicted.

“After looking at everything, meeting with the family, looking at the case and talking with prosecutors inside and outside the office, I decided not to seek the death penalty,” Meyer said today.

Meyer declined to share what the victims’ family members thought of his decision, saying those are private conversations.

Previous Lewis County Prosecutor Michael Golden left the potential option open, but was voted out of office in November. Meyer, a former defense attorney, stepped into the elected position in January.

Booth’s attorney, James Dixon, said his client is pleased with the prosecutor’s decision, and anxious to proceed to trial.

Booth and former prison cell mate Ryan J. McCarthy, 29, of Redmond, are charged in the case.

Authorities have said they believe the two men’s Aug. 21 visit to the house on Wings Way off Gore Road was related to a drug debt collection.

Booth, a former Onalaska resident, is set for trial  the week of May 16, however, prosecutors have asked a judge to consolidate the two cases into one trial.

McCarthy’s trial is scheduled for the week of Oct. 10.

Dixon indicated he will oppose the motion.

“He has a right to a speedy trial,” Dixon said in an emailed note. “He has waived that right already, but that waiver does not extend to the date currently set for Mr. McCarthy’s trial.”

•••

Read background on the case:

• “West Sr. pointed shotgun telling pair of ex-cons to leave his house, triggering triple homicide, unsealed court documents allege” from Saturday Sept. 4, 2010, here
• “Unsealed document: More details on Salkum slayings” from Monday Sept. 6, 2010, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

WRECK IN BOISTFORT VALLEY SENDS ONE TO HOSPITAL

• A 45-year-old Curtis resident was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after his vehicle collided with a parked truck yesterday evening on Boistfort Road near Hubbard Road. The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported that Joseph F. Sanchez came around a corner too fast, lost control and pushed the unoccupied truck through a chain link fence. His Ford pickup truck was described as likely totaled. A helicopter picked him up at Boistfort Elementary School and flew him to the Seattle trauma center, primarily because of the possibility of internal injuries due to the force of the collision, according to authorities. Sanchez is listed in satisfactory condition this morning. He was to be cited for not wearing a seatbelt, among other infractions after the approximately 7:30 p.m. accident.

POLICE PURSUIT ENDS AT CENTRALIA MOTEL 6

• A driver traveling at some points more than 100 mph fled a pursuing sheriff’s deputy in Centralia last night, but ended up being arrested at Motel 6, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Susannah L. Hickman, 21, of Chehalis, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for attempting to elude. It began when a vehicle passed the deputy in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near the Mellen Street exit and continued off Harrison Avenue where she allegedly raced through several red lights before stopping, according to the sheriff’s office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said Hickman had just been involved in a hit and run accident before passing the deputy. She didn’t report details of the accident.

THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 10:30 p.m. last night about the theft of a big screen television from an apartment on the 1100 block of South Pearl Street.

• An officer was called about a Wii stolen from a residence on the 600 block of South Gold Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 9:30 p.m. last night.

• Somebody removed a Mercury outboard motor from a boat parked on the 200 block of Interstate Avenue at the Best Western Motel in Chehalis, according to a report made to the Chehalis Police Department yesterday morning. The victim, who is from out of town, thought it occurred sometime over the weekend, according to police.

• An individual confronted two subjects who were trying to take a tool box from property at the 1400 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia at about 8:20 p.m. last night, but they fled before police arrived, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Lewis County Crime Stoppers is looking for tips about a $5,000 dump trailer stolen from inside a fenced compound on the 1500 block of Bishop Road in Chehalis. The theft of the black trailer was reported on March 13. It has a license plate reading 0601TX.

• Somebody broke into a vehicle and then threw items onto the lawn at the 700 block of H Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police last night.

HOUSE SHOT WITH BB GUN

• Centralia police reported this morning an officer took a report of a window of a house being shot with a BB gun on the 600 block of East Summa Street. it happened last week and police think it may be related to another incident in the area.

DRUGS FOUND AT STORAGE UNIT

• Chehalis police were called to North National Avenue yesterday when an individual cleaning out a storage building found a small amount of suspected marijuana. The material was taken away to be destroyed, according to police.

MASS WARRANT ARRESTS

• A warrant sweep last week by law enforcement in Lewis and Cowlitz counties ended with 51 arrests. Six teams began making arrests early Thursday with assistance from officers from Centralia, Chehalis, Kelso, Longview, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Service, according to a state Department of Corrections’ news release today. Twenty-seven of those picked up were previously convicted of violent crimes, according to the DOC.

News brief: Chicken-hauling truck rolls over outside Centralia

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
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Two trailer loads of chickens on their way to a processing plant overturned outside Centralia this morning / Courtesy photo by Lewis County Sheriff's Office

This was updated at 11:20 a.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A semi-truck carrying some 5,000 chickens rolled over this morning on Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia sending one man to the hospital and closing down the roadway temporarily.

Riverside Fire Authority called shortly after 8 a.m. to the wreck near Centralia-Alpha Road found the 22-year-old driver sustained minor injuries. He was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to fire Capt. Scott Snyder.

Some of the chickens escaped and some were not so fortunate, according to Snyder.

There were “quite a few” chickens all over the place, Snyder said.

“They’re going to be picked up by the farm and sorted out cause there were some fatalities I guess,” Snyder said.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported numerous chickens died and the “several” injured poultry were to be taken away to be euthanized.

The Freightliner truck was hauling two trailers loaded with 26 crates of poultry, according to the sheriff’s office.

The birds were on their way from a farm on Schafer Road to a Foster farms processing plant in Kelso, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown reported.

The truck driver, a Kelso resident, failed to negotiate a corner and drove onto the soft shoulder which caused the truck to roll, according to Brown. He is expected to be cited for going too fast.

The semi belongs to Signature trucking.

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Courtesy photo by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office

2011.0329.final.chickenspics.trim_2

Courtesy photo by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office

News brief: Flood watch issued in Lewis and nine other counties

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A flood watch is in effect for Lewis and other counties in Western Washington from tomorrow afternoon into Friday as expected heavy rain combines with rising freezing levels.

A warm and strong Pacific storm system will bring rain later tonight and is expected to stall over the area for 24 to 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

Counties under the flood watch include Lewis, Thurston, Mason, Pierce, Clallam, Jefferson, Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and King counties.

A flood watch means conditions are favorable for flooding but it is not imminent or occurring. The weather service recommends folks monitor weather forecasts.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 28th, 2011

RECYCLING THIEF ARRESTED, SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAYS

• A 22-year-old Centralia man who reportedly stole several bags of aluminum cans and recycled them for money ($35.20) for food and cigarettes was arrested  for second-degree trafficking in stolen property, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The theft was reported Friday from in front of a garage on the 2100 block of Taylor Street in Centralia, according to the sheriff’s office. The victim called a local recycler and described the pickup truck she saw leaving with her cans and a deputy contacted the man, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. William G. Fultz Valenta was booked into the Lewis County Jail for trafficking and also third-degree theft, Brown said. The case of his 20-year-old female companion was referred to the prosecutor’s office for similar charges, according to Brown.

BEER RUN ENDS

• Morton police were called to the 400 block of Second Street where a subject reportedly stole an 18-pack of beer and ran to a waiting vehicle about 4 a.m. on Saturday. Twenty-six-year-old Ryan M. Pittman was arrested for misdemeanor theft and the driver, Geoffrey M. Whittall, also 26, was arrested for the same offense as well as possession of marijuana, according to the Morton Police Department.

CAR WINDOW BROKE OUT FOR SMOKES, LOOSE CHANGE

• Centralia police took a report on Friday morning of a window being smashed out of a vehicle on the 800 block of H Street in Centralia. Taken were cigarettes and about $5 in change, police reported.

DISAGREEMENT ENDS WITH ARREST

• A 23-year-old Centralia man was arrested yesterday morning after he got into a dispute with his estranged fiance at the 1100 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia, according to police. Juan Vega-Allen allegedly shut a door and wouldn’t allow her to leave as they argued about her new boyfriend, police reported. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for unlawful imprisonment.

ELUDING POLICE

• Police on Saturday were looking for a subject after he reportedly sped away from a traffic stop in Centralia around 4 o’clock on Saturday morning. The officer didn’t catch up to the driver, but recognized the driver, according to Centralia police. The vehicle was found abandoned. The incident occurred at West Pear and South Rock streets.

JAIL INMATE ARRESTED

• A 24-year-old jail inmate was arrested for setting off the fire alarm in the Lewis County Jail on Saturday and also several times the day before. Timothy J. Chapek, of Portland and/or Beaverton, Ore., reportedly intentionally created a cloud of dust particles by repeatedly banging on the wire cage surrounding the fire alarm in his cell, activating the alarm.

THEFT

• Two rifles, two tail lamps from classic cars and a Snap-on tool chest were stolen in a burglary to a garage on the 100 block of East Roanake Street in Centralia, reported yesterday evening.

• A 1991 Madza pickup, four wheels and tires along with a  battery were among the items missing after a burglary to a garage on the 2000 block of U.S. Highway 12 in Ethel, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported today. The break-in occurred sometime between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $1,550.

• A black 1997 Pontiac TransAm stolen out of Centralia was found on Saturday on the 900 block of Davis Lake Road outside Morton, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Police were called about 10:30 p.m. last night when a neighbor heard someone break out the driver’s side window of a vehicle parked on the 600 block of East Summa Street in Centralia, according to police. The window-breaker drove away in a dark-colored car, according to police.

• Somebody stole a stereo from an unlocked vehicle at the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Sunday morning.

News brief: Toledo man hurt in Friday night wreck

Monday, March 28th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A Toledo man was seriously injured after a Friday night single-vehicle collision on the 400 block of South Jackson Highway.

Frances M. Wharton, 48, suffered facial trauma when his sport utility vehicle struck a utility pole, according to the Washington State Patrol.

A trooper called to the scene about 9:30 p.m. reported the 1994 Ford explorer was northbound when it ran along a ditch about 100 feet and hit the pole.

The Washington State Patrol said Wharton was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. However, a hospital spokesperson said they had no record of him being admitted.

His vehicle as described as totaled.