Archive for June, 2011

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, June 30th, 2011


• Centralia police were called just before 7 o’clock this morning about the theft of a car trailer from the 3600 block of Galvin Road.

• Centralia police were called to a car prowl about 6:40 a.m. yesterday at the 2500 block of Kristine Court. Someone had broke a window to get inside and steal an iPod, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Somebody broke into a residence on the 1100 block of Alder Street in Centralia and took knives, tobacco and money, according to a report made to Centralia police on Tuesday.

• Somebody removed a lock and stole money from a newspaper box outside a restaurant on the 3200 block of Galvin Road in Centralia, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department on Tuesday.

• Somebody cut the fuel lines to three vans belonging to the Adna School District sometime between June 20 and Tuesday, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday. Gasoline was stolen as well.


• Centralia police were called just before 4 a.m. yesterday to the 800 block of Ham Hill Road where someone had thrown a flower pot through the window of a home.

• Somebody shot out several windows of a vehicle, flattened it tires and spray painted all over it with black paint on the 1800 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia. it was reported about 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Just hours earlier in the same area, the rear window of another vehicle was found shot out. Police say a BB gun may have been used. Police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said it didn’t appear random, it seemed like “somebody was mad at somebody.”


• A 54-year-old man was arrested yesterday after deputies went to a trespass and civil dispute on the 3700 block of Jackson Highway outside Chehalis. He was asked to stop moving items off the property so deputies could question him, but he argued and yelled and said he didn’t have to listen to cops, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Bruce W. Norris “pushed through” a sergeant, and came at a deputy, refusing to back away when he was told to do so, Chief Civl Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning. Norris was booked into the Lewis County Jail for obstruction, Brown said.


• Chehalis police were called about 4:20 p.m. yesterday after someone watched a truck from Darigold brake one of the arms at the railroad crossing on West Main Street and keep driving. Chehalis police detective Sgt. Rick McNamara said it happens “all the time” because the trucks are long and slow and the drivers usually call in and tell Burlington Northern what happened. Technically it’s a hit and run but whenever police contact Burlington Northern, they say they’ve already spoke with Darigold and will be out to repair it, McNamara said.

• A deputy was called  to the 400 block of Toledo-Vader Road on Tuesday where a Lewis County Public Works truck hailing a chip trailer struck a guard rail damaging the trailer, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A deputy was called after a car carrying four people attending a festival was totaled in a single-vehicle accident on Forest Road 25 outside Randle on Tuesday morning. The occupants, ages 19 through 26 – from San Francisco, California; Richmond, Virginia; Fort Lauderdale Florida and Cooper City, Florida were mostly uninjured, except one suffered minor cuts to their hand and arm, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday. The driver had lost control in a curve. He was ticketed, Chief Civl Deputy Stacy Brown said.

Onalaska fatal shooting: Brady faces sentencing next week

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Onalaska resident Ronald A. Brady will be sentenced on Wednesday morning following his conviction last week for fatally shooting a suspected burglar.

Brady, 60, argued self defense in his trial last week in Lewis County Superior Court. He avoided a first-degree murder conviction, but a jury of six men and six women found him guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

Judge Nelson Hunt did not order him into custody after the verdict on Friday evening, but had him return today to the courtroom in Chehalis to learn his sentencing date. He told Brady it would happen very soon after today.

Hunt this morning said sentencing should be next week.

Defense attorney Don Blair asked the judge if it could be held off until the end of July, as his client had his affairs to get in order before he goes to prison.

“We can do it on the sixth, or he can go into custody now,” Hunt said. “It was a big break for him not to go into custody that day.”

While the crime has a standard sentencing range of between 21 and 27 months, Brady faces an additional  mandatory minimum of three years – with no possibility of reduction for any “good” time – because it was committed with a firearm.

Brady admitted firing five or six shots with a .22 caliber rifle, three of them toward 56-year-old Thomas McKenzie of Morton who was outside the house Brady owns and died at the scene.

The retired bachelor was acquitted of assault in the case of McKenzie’s wife, Joanna McKenzie who testified she that while she took cover behind a truck in the driveway, she heard the glass in its windshield shot out and felt “air or something” graze her face.

Hunt will sentence him at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Read “Breaking news: Onalaska murder trial: Guilty of second-degree manslaughter” from Friday June 24, 2011, here

News brief: Prosecutor finds deputy shooting justified

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

This news story was updated at 9:55 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning that the prosecutor’s review of Deputy Matt McKnight’s fatal shooting of a Napavine man last week concluded McKnight was justified.

The 27-year-old Lewis County sheriff’s deputy remained on paid administrative leave as of this morning, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

Brown said an internal investigation is being conducted separately.

Deputies were assisting the Napavine Police Department with a call to a burglary in progress, around 2 a.m. on June 20, in which a man reportedly was stabbing the door of a home and trying to get in.

McKnight confronted the suspect several blocks away and the sheriff’s office says he refused to take his hands out of his pockets and then charged McKnight.

Thirty-three-year-old Steven V. Petersen, of Napavine died at the scene of a gunshot wound to the head.

A regional shooting response team, made up of law enforcement officers from the counties of Thurston, Mason, Pacific, and Grays Harbor conducted the investigation and turned their results over to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the sheriff’s office.

In a news release this morning, Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield says prosecutors concluded the deputy’s use of deadly force was justified.

McKnight fired four shots, three of which struck Petersen, according to Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer. Petersen was not found to be armed with a knife, he said.

Meyer said the deputy was left with no choice. Petersen was intending to do him harm, and McKnight was in fear for his life, he said.

The sheriff’s office internal investigation will include a “shooting review board”, as well as a review of policy, procedures and training, according to Sheriff Mansfield.

More to come

Read “Breaking news: Deputy shoots, kills burglary suspect in Napavine” from Monday June 20, 2011, here

News brief: Training fire Thursday near Rochester High School

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters plan to burn down a Grand Mound area house tomorrow adjacent to Rochester High School.

The live fire training exercise is scheduled to begin around noon and continue until roughly 10 p.m., according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority spokesperson Lt. Lanette Dyer.

The Rochester-Littlerock area fire department will be joined by firefighters from two other agencies. Their training will include fire behavior, smoke conditions, night operations and interagency collaboration, according to Dyer.

Th school district donated a vacant 1,400 square-foot house to the fire department to get the property cleared, according to Battalion Chief Jacob Yake.

The address is 19735 Carper Rd S.W.

Carper Road will be closed at Old Highway 9 and at the west end of 197th Avenue Southwest.

News brief: John Booth’s murder trial postponed once again

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS  – John Allen Booth Jr.’s murder trial for last summer’s triple slaying has been postponed until Nov. 7.


John A. Booth Jr.

His defense attorney Roger Hunko told a judge yesterday a double-homicide trial he has in Yakima just got moved to mid-August.

Booth was scheduled to be tried in Lewis County Superior Court at the end of August, but Hunko expects his Yakima trial to last three to four weeks, Hunko told Judge Richard Brosey yesterday.

Brosey granted the extension, even though Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said he preferred not to delay.

They chose November because both Brosey and Meagher are unavailable in September, and Meagher has another murder trial scheduled in October.

Booth, who turned 32 last week, is charged in the August 21 shootings of four people inside a Salkum-Onalaska area home. Found dead were David West Sr., 52, David J. West Jr., 16, and Tony E. Williams, 50, of Randle. Denise Salts, 52, survived a gunshot wound to her face.

The former Onalaska man was arrested and jailed four days later.

His former cell mate Ryan J. McCarthy, 29, of Redmond, is also charged in the case. His trial is set for the week of October 10.

News brief: Drive-by shooting charge dropped against third suspect in Chehalis case

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – One of four individuals initially believed to be inside a Chevrolet Blazer during a drive-by shooting last summer in Chehalis was sentenced to jail today, but not for drive-by shooting as she was previously charged.

Christina Palomares, 24, of Tenino, was arrested in mid-August after the incident on Southwest William Street. A .45 caliber round found at the scene missed several people standing outside but struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

Authorities described the shooting as related to a debt owed to somebody called “Candy man” and perpetrated by gang members of the LVL, or Little Valley Lokotes. Chehalis police originally believed the mother of three was the driver.

In a plea deal, Palomares pleaded guilty today to two counts of malicious prosecution. She was sentenced in Lewis County Superior Court to 90 days in jail.

She lied about who was in the vehicle, Deputy Prosecutor Colin Hayes said this afternoon. There was some question about if she was even in the SUV, he said.

“We’re not sure who was in the driver’s seat,” he said.

Palomares is the third original suspect against whom drive-by charges have been dropped in the case.

Juan Valentino Vasquez was released in March. Last fall, drive-by shooting charges were dismissed against Ruben Alberto Palomares, the husband of Christina Palomares.

Remaining as a suspect in the shooting is Andrew Morales-Loberg, of Chehalis.

He has not yet been picked up in the case, but Hayes said today Morales-Loberg may be currently in the Yakima County Jail, but that wasn’t yet confirmed.

If he is there, the warrant is still active so he would be sent to Lewis County when Yakima is done with his case there, Hayes said.

The alleged target pointed to then 19-year-old  Morales-Loberg as the shooter, according to charging documents.

News brief: Cows fall from truck along U.S. Highway 12

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Police stopped a driver somewhere near Mossyrock after he drove west on U.S. Highway 12 with cows falling out the back of his trailer last night.

Some five animals tumbled onto the roadway as he traveled about 13 miles through Glenoma, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers called just before midnight said one cow died and four were loose, Trooper Ryan Tanner said today.

Morton Police Chief Dan Mortensen said the driver was pulling a stock trailer with load of cows and apparently both doors came open somewhere around Kiona Road west of Randle.

He didn’t know the extent of their injuries.

There were no reports of other motorists colliding with the cows.

Star Tavern: Chehalis man not guilty of assault

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A jury returned with a not guilty verdict today in the case of James Michael Abbott, on trial for second-degree assault stemming from an incident at the Star Tavern in which a man’s skull was cracked.

The other man, Gary Dvojack, is in a nursing home with long term injuries, prosecutors said on Monday.

Not guilty by reason of self defense, Abbott’s attorney Don Blair said this afternoon.

They deliberated about two hours, according to Blair.

The trial in Lewis County Superior Court began on Monday.

Jurors heard Dvojack was stumbling drunk, propositioned a female bartender and as Abbott was trying to get him to leave, Dvojack touched or hit the 49-year-old Chehalis man who pushed or shoved him back last November.

Sixty-five-year-old Dvojack fell back and hit his head on the concrete floor.

Blair said his client didn’t want to stand by while the bartender could have been injured, and Dvojack turned his attention to his client and said he was gonna “kick his ass”.

Abbott didn’t hit him, or head butt him or kick him, all he did was push him, Blair said.

Prosecutors: Armed Mossyrock man who threatened police officer kept journal with details on Lakewood cop killings

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Bail was increased to $500,000 for a man who reportedly advanced on a Mossyrock police officer during a traffic stop, forcing the officer to draw his pistol and retreat behind his patrol car.

Wayne Burdette, 43, was arrested for driving under the influence after the incident two and a half weeks ago in Mossyrock, according to charging documents, but a subsequent search of his trailer turned up a journal containing statements such as “How to kill cops”, “Teach body armor weak spot” and “Target all colleges and trade schools that offer law enforcement training”.

Burdette is charged with harassment; threat to kill and also with obstructing for his June 10 encounter with Mossyrock Officer Jeremy Stamper.

He was released from jail on the DUI charge, and then the  Lewis County Sheriff’s Office SWAT officers visited his trailer on June 16 to arrest him for incident with Stamper, according to court documents. Burdette’s address is listed as the 100 block of Winston Creek Road outside Mossyrock.

Deputies found a loaded shotgun just inside his doorway and a detective’s search turned up the journal, according to the documents.

Burdette pleaded not guilty on Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court, but Judge James Lawler raised his bail from $350,000 to $500,000.

The increase followed last week’s encounter in Napavine in which a 33-year-old man reportedly charged a sheriff’s deputy and was fatally shot.

The supplemental information from the found journals and police reports from other counties was submitted to persuade a judge higher bail was necessary, and to show the true nature of the threat Burdette made on June 10, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Burdette was previously flagged as a risk to officer safety, that he was known to assault officers and carry firearms.

Prosecutors say they learned from other counties, that Burdette in the past has made statements that “Vengeance and death are the only way to deal with people who wear a badge, carry guns and have prosecutors on their side,” according to the documents. A second notebook found by sheriff’s detective Dan Riordan reportedly included a detailed account of the Lakewood police shootings and contained the statement, “Maurice Clemmons gave them too much warning”, according to prosecutors.

Officer Stamper presumably knew very little of that when he pulled Burdette over for speeding on June 10.

Charging documents allege the following about the traffic stop:

Stamper stopped a brown Ford pickup in a 25 mph zone traveling 38 mph.

The driver, Burdette, argued about how fast he was going, and Stamper told him to stay in his truck and he would be back with him in a few minutes.

Burdette had given him a glare that made Stamper apprehensive.

When Stamper went back to his patrol car to fill out a ticket, he observed Burdette lay down out of sight.

Stamper opened his patrol car door, unholstered his pistol. As dispatch was telling Stamper of the officer “safety flag” on Burdette, Burdette got out of his truck with his right hand behind his back and approached Stamper’s patrol car.

Stamper pointed his pistol at Burdette, ordered him to show his hands and get back in his truck, but Burdette kept walking toward the officer.

Stamper moved to the back of his patrol car as Burdette was at the driver’s door. Burdette was arguing he wanted to see the “f-ing radar”

Stamper held his ground, and Burdette returned to the cab of his truck.

While Stamper was on the driver’s side explaining the ticket to Burdette, a trooper who arrived as backup was at truck’s passenger side and saw a pistol in Burdette’s waistband

Both officers drew their weapons and ordered him to show his hands, one of which he repeatedly kept putting near where his gun was.

Stamper finally ordered Burdette to show his hands or be shot, and Burdette kept staring with the “thousand-yard stare.”

Burdette finally got out of the truck and was placed in the “prone position”; Trooper Jason Hicks thought he might be under the influence of some drug and arrested him for DUI.

They found a loaded .40 caliber pistol pistol in the small of Burdette’s back; it had a bullet in the chamber and the safety was off.

He had two more magazines in his belt.

And Burdette said: “No wonder why we walk into a coffee shop and shoot four of you.”

Felony harassment: Prosecutors allege that by his words or conduct, Burdette threatened to kill Stamper, and by his words or conduct placed Stamper in reasonable fear the threat would be carried out.

Burdette has no felony criminal history, but has a conviction for a gross misdemeanor sex offense. He had just visited the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office in late May to register his address as a level one sex offender.

Burdette’s trial is set for the week of August 15.


CORRECTION: This news story has been updated to reflect Wayne Burdette’s correct age.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011


• Somebody stole the aluminum handrail from the bridge over the Skookumchuck River at Schaeffer Park north of Centralia, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. The 240 feet of rail vanished sometime between June 13 and yesterday, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $5,000.

• Centralia police were called yesterday about the theft of metal from a former manufacturing plant on the 1800 block of Crescent Avenue. Police say they have a possible suspect.


• A deputy took a report yesterday of a vehicle prowl at the Iron Creek Campground near Randle. Missing were two fly fishing rods and a reel, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Centralia police took  a report yesterday of license plates stolen from a vehicle at the 1500 block of Pike Street overnight. They read: 428 TIY

• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon to the 500 block of Harrison Avenue about a counterfeit $20.


• A 60-year-old man on a bicyclist sustained minor injuries yesterday when his bike and a car collided on Mellen Street and Marsh Avenue in Centralia, according to police. An officer was called just after 1 p.m. and noted the bicyclist got bumped, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Firefighters and police were called to a three-vehicle collision about 1 p.m. yesterday on the 500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. There were seven potential patients but just one female with an injury, to her wrist, according to Riverside Fire Authority.


• Lewis County Fire District 15 was called Monday afternoon to an incident on Camus Road where a man’s foot got stuck in a beaver trap. Firefighters cut the trap and the victim declined to go to the hospital, according to Firefighter Patrick Jacobson. It wasn’t like a bear trap, Jacobson said. It just clamped down, but didn’t cut him, he said.

Star Tavern: Man on trial for assault in Chehalis bar that cracked fellow patron’s skull

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

James Michael Abbott talks with his lawyer Don Blair in court yesterday as his trial begins.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Gary Dvojack and his wife moved from Spokane to retire in Chehalis so he could hunt and fish but now he’s in a nursing home; he can’t walk, he can barely speak and he can’t take care of himself, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told a jury yesterday.

He’s in wheelchair now, and the only reason is because of what happened last November at the Star Tavern, Meagher said.

Dvojack was very drunk when he walked into the Chehalis bar, Meagher continued.

“(Mr. Dvojack) got into an argument with Mr. Abbott, and Mr. Abbott shoved him so hard, Mr. Dvojack fell back and hit his head on the concrete floor,” he said.

His skull was cracked.

Meagher was speaking to a jury in Lewis County Superior Court yesterday morning where James Michael Abbott is on trial for second-degree assault.

Chehalis police arrested Abbott, 49, about a week after the Nov. 30 incident at the watering hole on Northwest Chehalis Avenue in Chehalis. At the time, 65-year-old Dvojack remained unconscious and on life support, according to police.

A jury of five men and seven women are hearing the testimony in a trial that is expected to last into tomorrow.

Meagher spent only about 10 minutes yesterday making his opening statements in the Chehalis courtroom.

He described Dvojack as a drunk old man who made inappropriate comments to the female bartender and told jurors when they see the scene on the security video, they will see Dvojack put the back of his hand on Abbott, and then Abbott using two hands, “launching” Dvojack back several feet.

While the bartender Laurie A. Rager told 911 Abbott told her Dvojack pushed him first, Meagher said, the video will show she had her head down behind the bar and didn’t see it.

“What you’re gonna see might be different from you hear,” Meagher said.

Defense attorney Don Blair spoke to the jurors for about 10 minutes as well.

His client is a longtime resident who used to own a business that sold communications electronics, Blair said.

Abbott went to the tavern to look at the newspaper and watch a Husky game on their big screen television, Blair said. He and others were helping the bartender with her college math homework, he said.

Dvojack had propositioned the bartender, using the F-word and offering her $100, he said.

The bartender is telling Dvojack he’s kicked out; and Abbott is tells Dvojack “why don’t you just leave”, he said.

Dvojack gets more aggressive, Blair says.

“You’ll see in the video, Mr. Dvojack reaches out and hits Mike’s arm,” he said.

He does push him, Blair said.

“And he falls down and hits his head and got injured,” Blair said. “And Mike feels bad about that.”

Was it reasonable?, Blair asks.

“When Mike pushes him, was that push reasonable?” he said. “That’s really the question here.”

The crime charged involves intentional assault and recklessly causing substantial harm; prosecutors are alleging an aggravating circumstance that the victim suffered extreme injuries that are long term.

What jurors won’t hear, is that police arrested the bartender, Rager, for lying. Meagher said he resolved that case; by continuing it.

Read about 911 lines being re-routed in north Cowlitz County …

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Longview) Daily News reports some phone lines in Ryderwood and Castle Rock are not working and some 911 lines have been re-routed.

Read more here