Archive for March, 2012

Unusual drug lab, guns and a mystery man

Friday, March 30th, 2012
2012.0330.oxforddruglab

Law enforcement officers proceed to dismantle an apparent drug lab on Oxford Avenue in Centralia.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Authorities aren’t sure who he is but he was jailed last night when police allegedly found a loaded AR15 assault rifle just inside his front door and numerous items including jars of unidentified liquids and a large pile of white powder in his Centralia home.

The man being called Joshua Paul Green was charged today with multiple crimes as law enforcement on Oxford Avenue continued to sift through an amount of chemicals so large, a contractor for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration was called upon to deal with the cleanup.

He says he’s self-employed; he grows coral.

“There’s a lot of chemicals here, a lot that don’t fit, I’m not 100 percent sure what he’s doing,” state Department of Ecologist hazard specialist Doug Stolz said.

Stolz described seeing the usual materials one would find in a methamphetamine lab, such as solvents and glass flasks, but there was also a tank of water with air blowing into it, but without fish, he said.

Green, who is listed by police as 31 years old, was in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon.

“The state is still not sure Joshua Green is the respondent,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg told the judge. “We’re still not sure who we’re dealing with.”

According to charging documents, he was arrested and booked earlier this month following a traffic stop in Centralia and gave his information as Jonah Andrew Farrer, 34 years old. His driving status was suspended in Alabama.

He had a loaded .45 caliber Colt pistol in his waistband, but no license to carry the firearm, according to charging documents.

This week, a Centralia officer contacted his girlfriend – who said she has two children with him – and was told his real name is Joshua Green.

An officer who checked with authorities in Alabama learned the Farrer name, birth date and social security number belonged to an individual who died in 2008.

Last night, when Centralia police went to his home to serve a protection order regarding the girlfriend, they got information from 911 dispatch the Colt 45 was stolen, and the victim in that case had five other firearms stolen.

That led to a search warrant.

Today, a pair of firefighters stood by as protection-suited officers collected materials from inside the two-story house on Oxford Avenue.

Part of the electricity had been shut off for safety and fire hoses lay ready, just in case.

On a tarp in the front yard sat gallon cans of Xylene, mason jars, five-gallon buckets and a large glass container half-filled with something brown.

Charging documents list some of the items found inside as numerous pistols, Pyrex dishes with “sludge”, a scale and a used methamphetamine pipe.

The Centralia Police Department hasn’t seen a meth lab in quite some time, according to Public Information Officer John Panco.

They asked teams from the Washington State Patrol and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department to conduct the examination, Panco said.

Personnel from the Department of Ecology had gone in first to check the air for safety.

Stolz, who had completed that task earlier in the day, said the interior was a mess, with a lot of garbage, many buckets of unidentified substances and even three triple-necked flasks – something illegal for just anyone to own.

The hazard specialist who said he’s been to more than 900 labs or partial labs in his 14 years on the job wondered if the resident was trying to make something he hadn’t seen before, or perhaps testing new “recipes”.

At least two dogs were removed from the home, according to Panco.

Next door neighbor Sharon Mitchell said the clean-shaven young man who moved in about three months earlier isn’t someone who had much company.

She didn’t know if he worked.

“Gosh, he’s a nice guy,” she said. “When I learned what happened, I was amazed.”

His girlfriend told police he travels to Seattle weekly and returns with an abundance of cash; and he gives her money to buy him guns, according to charging documents.

The last official word from police shortly before 3:30 p.m. called the find a possible drug lab.

Green was charged shortly after 4 p.m. today with manufacture of methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, possession of a stolen firearm and identity theft.

Charging documents described the found materials as “consistent with a methamphetamine lab.”

Deputy Prosecutor Eisenberg asked for bail to be set at $75,000.

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter asked for $10,000.

He’s self-employed, growing coral, but hasn’t made any money from that yet, Schroeter told the judge.

“His assets for the business are not more than $1,000,” Schroeter said.

Judge Nelson Hunt set bail at $250,000.

Green – or Farrer – is scheduled for his arraignment next Thursday.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 30th, 2012

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE EVENING

• Chehalis police were called to a real estate office on the 300 block of Northwest Park Street about 6 p.m. yesterday about a possible ghost in its attic. There was a loud noise heard from the upstairs, but as far as he could tell, no ghosts were found, Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said.

INTRUDER MAKES OFF WITH SUITS, CHAINSAW, LEXUS

• An abandoned car found off Centralia-Alpha Road yesterday led to the discovery of a burglary at the home where it belonged west of Chehalis. Deputies arriving at the home on the 100 block of Whitney Boulevard found the front door wide open and the interior ransacked, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Among the items missing were two Armani suits, a Calvin Klein jacket, a nine mm Makarov pistol, a Hank Aaron commemorative bat and a Stihl chainsaw, according to the sheriff’s office. The loss is estimated at $5,000, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.

JEWELRY STOLEN FROM STORE

• Centralia police were called about 1:15 p.m. yesterday to a business on the 100 block of North Tower Avenue where several sterling silver rings were reported missing from a display case.

COMPUTERS SHOPLIFTED

• A case involving two stolen laptop computers from Wal-Mart and a pair of men from Centralia and Chehalis is being referred for possible charges of organized retail theft, the Chehalis Police Department said today. One incident was reported at the beginning of last week and yesterday officers following up learned a second had been taken, according to police.

POLICE: VANDALISM CAUGHT ON TAPE

• Police were called about 12:20 a.m. yesterday to the parking lot at a motel on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue where someone had busted out windows of a vehicle. Images captured on surveillance video led an officer to arrest a 30-year-old man later in the morning during a traffic stop on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue, according to police. Seth P.E. Shamley was arrested for third-degree malicious mischief and also for third-degree driving with a suspended license, according to the Centralia Police Department.

TV documentary will feature Ronda Reynolds’ case

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The real life drama that has played out in Lewis County for more than a decade and peaked last autumn with a coroner’s inquest into the controversial 1998 death in Toledo of former trooper Ronda Reynolds will be told on national television next month.

48 Hours Mystery, CBS’s true crime series will feature a one-hour documentary on the case on April 21 at 10 p.m., according to Reynolds’ mother Barb Thompson.

2011.1011.inquest.selove.small

Inquest witness, 2011

Thompson, who lives in Spokane, got word today from producers of the airing date, and she promptly sent out a message sharing the news for those interested in the story.

“My daughter Ronda Reynolds died Dec. 16, 1998 and finally in October 2011 her death certificate was changed for the last time to homicide,” Thompson wrote.

Reynolds, 33, died with a bullet in her head in the home she shared with husband of less than a year, Toledo Elementary School Principal Ron Reynolds. She was found dead on the floor of a small walk-in closet, covered up by a turned-on electric blanket.

Her death was labeled a suicide and an unconvinced Thompson battled the offices of the sheriff and the coroner and then took the matter to court.

Producers from 48 Hours joined local and regional news media in October at the Lewis County courthouse when new Coroner Warren McLeod held his inquest.

The sheriff’s office admitted to some mistakes, including either the handgun being moved at the scene before photos were taken, or those photos getting lost. Jurors heard about evidence being destroyed or returned too soon.

The inquest jury ruled unanimously the manner of death was homicide and named Ron Reynolds and his son Jonathan as responsible. Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer however declined to bring criminal charges. The father and son deny any involvement.

Thompson said television crews spent four days with her in November and three more days in Spokane earlier this month.

“I know they interviewed Ron and his family once, and went back and did it again a couple weeks ago,” Thompson said this evening.

The widespread attention to the case is not something Thompson expected to ever see.

There was a time when she pestered local newspaper editors to investigate her daughter’s death, and was told no, they don’t report on suicides.

In 2001, she and a good friend of her daughter’s, David Bell, took a trip down to The (Centralia) Chronicle to try once again with its new editor at the time, and succeeded.

“Way back then, we were just hoping to wake up Lewis County,” she said. “That was kind of all we were thinking about; helping people realize there was a problem.”

Thompson said she didn’t think the examination of the case would go on for almost 14 years, or turn into a book by true crime author Ann Rule, let alone a television documentary.

“I’ve got the death certificate that say homicide,” she said. “And that’s what I set out to prove.”

Thompson said she only knows about the parts that were filmed with her, and doesn’t know how the 48 Hours episode will end.

She and her 36-year-old son Freeman will likely watch the show together, just the two of them, she said.

Read about not a SWAT raid in Centralia …

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Updated Friday March 30, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Kirotv.com reported they took their cameras when a SWAT team conducted a raid in Centralia today, but that didn’t actually occur.

KIRO’s Richard Thompson described how police were looking for a man with a drug warrant and showed video of officers entering a building using a K-9, as well as the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office armored personnel carrier which transported them there.

Centralia police and the sheriff’s office said it didn’t happen.

“It must have been a slow news day or something, I don’t know,” Sheriff’s Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. “That happened a couple weeks ago.”

The footage was from the morning of Friday March 9 when law enforcement went to a building known as the creamery on the 1000 block of North Pearl Street, according to Brown.

On that morning, deputies with the Lewis County Regional Drug Task Force were joined by Centralia police about 8:45 a.m. in a raid.

At the time Brown said one unnamed person was detained following a two-month long narcotics investigation.

This news item has been updated to reflect the correct day in which these events occurred.

Lewis County Sirens.com apologizes for sharing a link to a misleading news story.

Jail sued over magazine offer for inmates

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The publisher of a magazine written for jail inmates has filed a lawsuit against the Lewis County Jail saying its rejection of his publication amounts to a violation of the First Amendment.

The quarterly periodical is free.

Crime, Justice and America says it attempted to arrange delivery to the lock-up facility in Chehalis and were refused, according to its filing in federal court.

Jail Chief Kevin Hanson in his formal answer filed last week denies that his policies unconstitutionally restrict the magazine’s attempt to deliver to inmates or that his jail refused to permit the magazine into the jail.

The suit is filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

It names as defendants Hanson, Sheriff Steve Mansfield who has ultimate decision-making authority over the jail and 20 unnamed employees of the jail.

The magazine describes its target audience as inmates awaiting trial, aiming to educate and inform them about a sometimes confusing criminal justice system.

Crime, Justice and America is distributed free of charge and without a subscription or prior request so jail inmates can receive the information quickly, when they need it, according to information in the magazine’s court filing.

The defendants’ blanket ban on unsolicited publications is exaggerated, not related to a any legitimate penological interest and leaves the magazine with no viable means to communicate with its intended audience, the filed complaint states.

The publisher, Ray Hrdlicka, says it is distributed in numerous counties in Washington, Oregon, California and two other states, according to the filing.

The California-based company says it offered two methods of distribution, either a weekly delivery to be placed in small stacks in common areas or individually addressed to specific inmates but not more than 10 percent of them.

In a document filed last week on behalf of Lewis County Jail Sgt. Julie Frase, Frase states she was the person who the magazine contacted in phone calls in January and February of last year and that they offered no such thing.

Frase wrote they told her they wished to send one copy for every single inmate and they expected the jail to ensure they were individually received.

Jail Chief Hanson says they will accept the magazine, but only in limited quantities and if addressed to specific named inmates.

The inquiry came over a year ago and the jail wasn’t interested, but didn’t violate any law, according to Hanson.

“We reviewed it and due to the volume – they wanted one for every inmate – we said no thanks, we’ll pass,” Hanson said today.

The jail allows reading material inside, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the safety and security of the facility, Hanson said. And based on the copies of the magazine he’s seen, its content wouldn’t be prohibited, he said.

The plaintiffs specifically allege violations of their rights under the First and Fourteenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution and under Article I, Section 5 of the Washington State Constitution.

They are asking the court for an order to stop violating their rights and damages, partly related to lost advertising, in an amount to be proven at trial.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

BURGLARY AND OTHER THEFT

• A deputy was called yesterday to a warehouse at Mossyrock Dam where someone had stolen nuts, bolts and an unknown number of six-foot-long “cooling cores”. An employee of Tacoma City Light said someone cut chains on a gate to get inside the property off Young Road then pulled back sheet metal siding to get inside, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Whoever it was apparently used a forklift to move large crate to a loading door, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The cores which are tubular and have “fins” are used to cool generators at the dam. The dollar amount of the loss is not yet known, but they suspect the items were taken for their scrap value, Brown said.

• Police were called about 11 a.m. yesterday to a burglary at a home on the 900 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia. Taken was a violin and its case as well as a digital camera and other items, according to the Centralia Police Department. Someone had broken through the back door, according to police.

• A 50-inch flat screen television was stolen from a home on the 100 block of Hideaway Hills Lane in Centralia sometime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• A deputy was called yesterday evening to a burglary at a home on the 100 block of Sandy Boulevard in Centralia. Taken was a television, a Glock .40 caliber handgun and a portable safe containing passports, birth certificates, checks and other items, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A back door had been left unlocked, according to the sheriff’s office.

• Police were called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday to an apartment on the 600 block of Dobson Court in Chehalis after a firearm went missing. The HP semi-automatic pistol and its lock box belonging to a 21-year-old man were taken sometime during that day, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Several people had been in and out of the residence and a door had been unlocked, according to police.

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon to the 100 block of Aumick Court in Vader after a property owner discovered his black dune buggy had been stolen. The Castle Rock resident told the deputy it was stored under an awning and must have been taken since Sunday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $1,500.

• Fishing poles and a duffel bag were stolen from a shed on the 900 block of South Silver Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 11 a.m. yesterday. The lock had been cut, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called just after 5 p.m. yesterday to a car prowl on Southwest Ninth Street just west of Market Boulevard. Sunglasses and paperwork were taken, according to the Chehalis Police Department,

• Centralia police were called about 9:40 a.m. yesterday to a car prowl on the 300 block of West Summa Street. Nothing seemed to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A 25-year-old man from Rochester was arrested for possession of methamphetamine after police went to a house on the 700 block of West Main Street in Centralia looking for someone with a warrant last night. Officers saw methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana near Cory R. Aldrich and booked him into the Lewis County Jail, according to Officer John Panco.

WRECK

• A 28-year-old Yelm resident was hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck at Cousins and Twin Oaks roads west of Chehalis yesterday morning. The driver said she was traveling north and could not stop for a stop sign before her car hit an embankment and ended up in a field, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The unnamed driver had a mouth injury and chest pain, according to the sheriff’s office. Her car sustained moderate damage, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The driver was cited for no license, no insurance and for disobeying the traffic sign, Brown said.

Former Winlock man awaits trial for assisting with cleanup, getaway after Olympia murder

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A former Winlock-area resident taken into custody following a wild weekend police pursuit has pleaded not guilty to rendering criminal assistance and other offenses related to the aftermath of an Olympia homicide.

Trey Nicholas Jones, 20, was the passenger in a 1999 Kia Sephia that led as many as a dozen patrol vehicles through south Lewis County, as fireworks, full pop cans, duffel bags and a suitcase were tossed from the stolen car, according to authorities.

After the vehicle wrecked on Interstate 5 near Kelso, Jones allegedly admitted that he planned to help the driver – Dwight M. Bradsbery – leave the state following a homicide days earlier in an Olympia apartment, according to charging documents in the case.

He also stated he was injecting methamphetamine during the pursuit, prosecutors allege.

Jones, whose current residence is described by police as “transient”, is being held on $50,000 bail in the Thurston County Jail.

Bradsbery, also 20, is being held on charges of second-degree murder and other related offenses. His bail is set at $250,000. Police say he lives in Olympia.

The pair were arrested March 11 after the wreck.

Detectives from Olympia had been checking around Lewis County since they learned of the homicide the Friday before, according to Olympia police.

One witness lives in Lewis County, the pair had contacts in Centralia and Chehalis, and Jones’ parents live in south Lewis County, according to Olympia Police Department Lt. Jim Costa.

They had gotten information Bradsbery was in the Winlock area earlier that day and asked police there to help find them. Jones grew up in the Winlock area, according to Winlock Police Chief Terry Williams.

According to charging documents, the two were among several individuals at an apartment on Lilly Road in Olympia on the evening of March 8.

The woman who lives in the apartment contacted police early the following day and told of fleeing her home after she saw Bradsbery assault the victim from behind, charging papers state.

The woman, Ajalene Wilson, said she then contacted several other “associates” who had been inside moments before the murder, according to prosecutors.

When Jones was interviewed, he reportedly told police he went inside because he was going to lock the door and keep people out, but instead he supervised the attempted cleanup of the crime scene.

He said he watched, provided direction to others and “masterminded” the cleanup because he was the smartest one, according to prosecutors.

The man police found dead when they went to the apartment is identified as 29-year-old Nathaniel Ollis, an active duty soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He is from Maine and died from multiple stab and slash wounds, according to the Thurston County Coroner.

Charging documents in the case don’t indicate a motive.

Both Bradsbery and Jones reportedly admitted stealing the car from a female friend in Olympia.

Jones is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and tampering with evidence.

Both men are charged with car theft, attempting to elude and related crimes.

They are scheduled to appear next in Thurston County Superior Court on April 9.

•••

Read “Read about police chase through Lewis County …” from Sunday March 11, 2012 at 6:48 p.m., here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

POLICE: HOME SECURITY CAMERA PAYS OFF

• A Chehalis resident who kept finding medication missing from her home set up a surveillance system and yesterday morning soon after she left, a neighbor was caught on video coming into her house, according to police. It happened on the 400 block of Southwest William Avenue, Chehalis Police Department Sgt. Gary Wilson said. The system showed images of someone breaking into a portable safe and taking ADHD medicine, Wilson said. One pill was taken, he said. Arrested around 12:30 p.m. and then booked into the Lewis County Jail for residential burglary was Brandee L. Leal-Lopez, 29, of Chehalis, according to police.

COMPUTERS LIFTED FROM OFFICE

• Police were called yesterday morning to an insurance office on the 1200 block of Harrison Avenue where someone had broken a window to get inside and stole several computers. Some of the missing equipment was Dell brand, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MORE COMPUTERS STOLEN

• Someone broke in the front door to a residence on the 500 block of West Second Street in Centralia and stole a computer, according to a report made to police about 6:40 p.m. yesterday.

• Police were called about 4:30 p.m. yesterday to a burglary at a home on the 1100 block of G Street in Centralia. Missing was a Mac computer and an iPad, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VINO AND TOOLS BURGLED

• Somebody broke into a shop on the 100 block of Annonen Road near Vader and stole six bottles of wine, three bottles of “sparkling” wine, a saw and various hand tools, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The theft occurred sometime between Friday afternoon and yesterday morning, according to sheriff’s Cmdr. Steve Aust.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

THEFT IN THE WOODS

• A deputy took a report yesterday morning from an employee of Meek Logging who said he returned after the weekend to find someone had cut the cables and stolen a battery from his bull dozer and loader parked out on the “5000 line” about two and half miles off Cooks Hill Road in Centralia, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $850, the sheriff’s office said.

CAR PROWL

• Police were called to the 1500 block of Lewis Street in Centralia about 9:35 p.m. yesterday when a man saw a subject take a stereo from a vehicle and run away. A track with a police dog failed to locate the thief, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SECURITY CAMERA STOLEN

• A security video was stolen from a business on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police just after 4 p.m. yesterday.

SLASHED TIRE

• Police were called about 12:35 a.m. today to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia about a slashed tire to a parked car. A suspect was seen on security video from the Travel Lodge, according to the Centralia Police Department.

WRECK

• A 24-year-old Chehalis women was hospitalized with minor injuries after she rolled her Mitsubishi Eclipse on the 600 block of Logan Hill Road yesterday afternoon. A deputy called about 4:20 p.m. concluded she was westbound when she lost control and hit an embankment, causing the vehicle to roll onto its top, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The damage to the car was extensive, Brown said.

Council member’s lawyer: Cat killing case needs a judge who isn’t paid by the city

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CENTRALIA – Centralia City Council member Bill Bates didn’t show up at court today as expected, but his lawyer came in his place, asking for a different judge and prosecutor in his client’s cat shooting case.

2012.0229.susiecat.small

"Susie"

Bates, 60, is charged with killing his neighbor’s pet with a pellet gun. Bates, who is also pastor of a downtown church, has said it was an accident, he was only trying to run it out of his yard.

Centralia attorney Peter Abbarno asked a judge in Centralia Municipal Court this morning to move the case to Lewis County District Court.

“It would be a conflict, almost like prosecuting your own boss,” Abbarno said after the brief hearing. “So I think everyone in the court felt uncomfortable with that.”

The city council is responsible for hiring the city’s judge and prosecuting attorney, Abbarno said.

A substitute judge, Paul Strophy, approved the request.

Bates had been scheduled to make his plea this morning.

The Pannette family called police in late February, after Bates came knocking on their door on Ham Hill Road and confessed what he’d done. He offered to buy them a new cat.

He was subsequently charged – after a review by the city’s prosecutor – with unlawful use of an air gun and killing a pet.

Both are gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine.

The incident has sparked outrage among both those who feel it was justified because the animal was on Bates’ property being a nuisance and those believe one shouldn’t use lethal force on other people’s pets.

Dusty Pannette and her family were devastated by the loss of “Susie” who had safely roamed for all 10 years of his life on Ham Hill. They were particularly stunned as Bates had not complained to them their cat was bothering him.

Centralia has no leash law for cats.

The case will be moved to Lewis County District Court, in Chehalis and Bates will appear before a judge there on April 4, according to Abbarno.

The attorney emphasized to news reporters he thought it was an unfortunate accident.

“He didn’t try to hide this, he has no criminal history, it’s not in his nature,” Abbarno said.

Bates is serving his fourth year on the city council and is minister at Destiny Christian Center, an Assemblies of God Church, on North Tower Avenue.

•••

For background, read:

• “Minister, city council member shoots neighbor cat dead with pellet gun” from Thursday March 1, 2012, here

• “Centralia city council member charged for killing neighbor cat” from Tuesday March 6, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, March 26th, 2012

LOST AND FOUND OUTSIDE PACKWOOD

• A 34-year-old Packwood woman was cold, wet and had a possibly sprained ankle after getting lost north of Packwood Friday and spending the night outside. She had gone for a walk about 4:30 p.m. behind her home in the High Valley area into the Butter Creek Canyon area, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She called about 5:10 p.m. to say she was lost but then cell phone contact was lost, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The woman, whose name was not released, was found a little after 7 a.m. on Saturday, Brown said. She said her dog kept her warm, according to Brown.

UNDER CLOTHES MISSING

• Chehalis police were called about 6:15 p.m. yesterday about a burglary to an apartment on the 400 block of Northeast Jefferson Avenue. A woman said a drawer full of her underwear were missing. Further details were not readily available.

FIREARM STOLEN

• A deputy was called yesterday about the theft of a firearm from the 1300 block of Ferrier Road in Winlock. Someone got into a vacant house sometime after 8 p.m. on Saturday and left with a .22 caliber rifle, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

JEWELRY TAKEN FROM BEDROOM

• A deputy was called yesterday afternoon to the home of a 91-year-old Chehalis-area woman where someone had broken her sliding glass door, gone into her bedroom and stolen about 100 pieces of jewelry, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened on the 500 block of Brown Road East, the sheriff’s office reported. The loss is estimated at more than $1,000.

WALLET THEFT

• A 46-year-old was arrested for alleged theft and use of credit cards after Morton police were called Thursday night to the 500 block of Adams Avenue about a missing wallet. Leslie S. Matthews was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Morton Police Department.

CAR RUNS INTO ONY STORE

• A 32-year-old Salkum woman was arrested on Friday for hit and run for allegedly running her station wagon into the front of the Justus General Store on the 100 block of Main Street in Onalaska. It happened around 3:30 p.m. and her car struck a freezer out front, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The owner took down the license plate information and a deputy found her later at a location on Centralia Alpha Road, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. Jenifer A. Wildman was found with a folding knife tucked in one boot and a butterfly knife in the other, Brown said. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail for possession of a dangerous weapon, hit and run and also obstruction as in the patrol car she kept taking off her seatbelt an moving her cuffed hands into the front of her, according to Brown. The damage to the store was not noted by the sheriff’s office.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

MINI BIKE WRECK INJURES ROCHESTER WOMAN

• A 32-year-old Rochester woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after a motorcycle accident in the Little Rock area last night. Troopers were called about 5:20 p.m. to the 11,000 block of Waddell Creek Road where Kayla R. McKnight had lost control of a Honda 50cc off-road bike and landed in a ditch, according to the Washington State Patrol. She was not wearing a helmet, according to the state patrol. Update Monday March 26, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.: McKnight is listed in satisfactory condition this morning.

THEFT OF TAXI RIDE

• A police dog tracked down a 35-year-old man from Chehalis who left a taxi cab without paying early this morning in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers arrived about 6:20 a.m. to the area of South Diamond and East Locust streets where they observed Charles E. Frenz who ran, according to police. He was apprehended by a K-9 and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

BURGLARY

• Police were called just before 7 o’clock this morning to an overnight burglary at a home on the 2400 block of Seward Avenue in Centralia.

• Someone broke into a residence on the 800 block of Landing Way in Centralia and ransacked a bedroom, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday afternoon. A sliding glass door had been broken and a watch and other items were stolen, according to police,

• Police were called to a residence under renovation on the 600 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon where the front door had been kicked in. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police are investigating a burglary of a residence on the 400 block of South Washington Avenue. Somebody broke in some time between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called to a car prowl on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue on Friday night. Someone had gotten inside an unlocked vehicle and tried to steal a stereo, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A wallet and a purse were stolen from a vehicle at the in a parking lot on the 500 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia sometime on Friday, according to the Centralia Police Department.

911 SCAM

• Authorities are warning the public of a scam in which residents in Washington and several other states are getting phone calls from someone asking for payment for 911 services. The caller claims individuals must pay a fee to register their addresses in a database so responders can find their homes in an emergency, according to a message from Lewis County 911 manager Craig Larsen. Larsen said he isn’t aware of it happening locally but his message notes it is a scam; 911 services are funded through dedicated excise taxes on phone bills and other local government money.

News brief: Pancakes and preparedness info

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Boistfort Emergency Assistance Group and Boistfort Fire Association are holding their second annual pancake breakfast tomorrow with the goal of helping folks prepare for their own safety.

The 8 a.m. to noon event at the Baw Faw Grange will include disaster preparedness information and displays, fire truck tours and raffles, according to Lewis County Fire District 13 Chief Gregg Peterson.

Plus sausage, eggs and all-you-can-eat pancakes.

The Boistfort Emergency Assistance Group began in the fall of 2006 after a windstorm damaged the elementary school and made its mission to create an evacuation center for use during a  disaster, according to Peterson.

The BEAG made changes at the Baw Faw Grange so it can run on a generator and propane, conversions that proved invaluable during the December 2007 flood, according to Peterson. The grange opened its doors at 7 a.m. that morning and within an hour had heat, lights and warm food in preparation for distressed citizens, according to Peterson.

The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

POLICE: MAN VANDALIZES CAR, HIDES IN ATTIC

• A 30-year-old man was found hiding in his attic after Centralia police got a search warrant because he refused to come out and talk with them last night about allegedly breaking the windshield on his ex-girlfriend’s car, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers took Jonathan A. Lischka from his home on the 500 block of South Diamond Street and booked him into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree malicious mischief, according to police.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the 1200 block of Southwest Elzina Street about 8:15 a.m. yesterday in which numerous items including appliances, a computer and a child’s playhouse were missing. The victim was moving out and still had some of her belongings in the home, according to police. There were no signs of forced entry, police said.

• Centralia police took a report about 8 o’clock yesterday morning of a purple 1996 Saturn stolen from the 400 block of North Ash Street. It has a license plate of AGU 1073, according to police.

• A four-wheeled electric scooter was reported stolen late yesterday afternoon from the 2500 block of Fords Prairie Avenue in Centralia, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called just before 5 o’clock this morning when a resident on the 100 block of Southwest 12th Street found a large neon beer sign in her front yard. It seemed to have been stolen and was taken away by an officer, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOCK DOWN

• Mossyrock schools were locked down briefly yesterday afternoon while law enforcement went to a home next door to arrest an individual wanted on a felony warrant. He was taken into custody; the lockdown was just precautionary, according to Mossyrock Officer Rebecca Sutherland.

NOT GUILTY PLEAS IN BANK HOLDUPS

• The two men charged with robbing a Chehalis bank after trying to hold up a nearby credit union over the weekend pleaded not guilty yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court. Robert T. Hendrickson, 23, of Centralia and Robert J. Hughes, 32, of Tenino, remain held in the Lewis County Jail on $150,000 and $250,000 bail respectively. Prosecutors allege Hendrickson went into Twin Star Credit Union on South Market Boulevard and was told they had no cash in their drawers and then went up the road to Chase Bank where he got approximately $2,276 from a teller. Prosecutors allege Hughes was the getaway driver. The two men were  apprehended a short time later when their car wrecked on a curve on Cooks Hill Road in Centralia. Their trial dates have been set for the week of May 14.

News brief: Subject found from truck that hit freight train

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police acting on a tip spoke to a male overnight who said he was a passenger in the dump truck struck by a train yesterday evening in Centralia.

He said they ran off because they were scared, Officer John Panco said.

Police were called just after 6 p.m. yesterday to a railroad crossing on Floral Street where they found a wrecked large dump truck, but no driver.

The 1965 International dump truck suffered severe front end damage and a crossing arm was bent. The freight train which had kept going subsequently discovered a rupture in one of the cars, spilling soybeans.

Panco said a 200-foot-long trail of what might have been brake fluid suggested the accident may have been cause by a brake failure.

Officers spoke to the male in Chehalis, got a name of the supposed driver and are following up to confirm what happened, according to Panco.
•••

For background, read “Truck versus train in Centralia” from  Thursday March 22, 2012 at 8:05 p.m., here

Coroner McLeod ends first year tallying fewer homicides, three cases still unknown causes of death

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County coroner’s year-end report shows roughly the same number of suicides here during 2011 as the year before.

The number of homicides dropped however, from what many called an extraordinarily high number in 2010 of seven, down to four last year.

2010.11.warren.mcleod.mine_3

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod

Coroner Warren McLeod after his first year in the elected office made public this week his annual report, which primarily describes his office’s purpose, mission and accomplishments.

His staff has strengthened “chain of custody” procedures, acquired a response vehicle and developed a policy and procedure manual, among other changes.

They are in the midst of becoming an accredited facility.

McLeod noted the October coroner’s inquest into the 1998 death of Ronda Reynolds in Toledo cost $35,000.

During 2011, there were 767 deaths in Lewis County, although the coroner’s office also handled two out-of-county deaths as a courtesy for Mason and Yakima counties, according to McLeod.

The vast majority of those deaths were due to natural disease processes, while 29 were accidental and three are undetermined, according to his statistics.

Nine were suicide; while the year before eight deaths in the county were suicide, according to the state Department of Health data.

No details were provided about more specifics in any of the categories.

The coroner’s office has yet to determine the cause and manner of death of three sets of remains found during last year.

McLeod said the remains are still in King County with a forensic anthropologist who specializes in figuring out those types of cases.

One of them is a partial skull found in March in a wooded area north of Mineral, determined to be Michael Lloyd Riemer, who was 36 years old when he went missing from Pierce County in 1985.

The two others remain unidentified, according to McLeod.

Skeletal remains found off the side of a logging road near Morton in April are believed to belong to a small woman between 20 and 35 years old when she died.

Authorities have said they don’t know how long ago she died, but doubted the remains had been there very long, because it was a well-used logging road.

Human remains found in September in a field on Joerk Road in Randle could possibly belong to Trisha McKenzie-Fire, 57 years old when she vanished from her home about a mile and a half away in April, but positive identification has not been made, according to authorities.

McLeod’s office operated with a budget last year of about $296,000. Forty autopsies were conducted during 2011.

His position is half-time, but he has a full time chief deputy coroner and four deputy coroners.

He currently has five individuals in training to become deputy coroners as well as four reserve (volunteer) deputies in training.

The coroner is also advertising for two or three others who live within 35 miles of Packwood so he can cut down on the mileage reimbursements paid out to deputy coroners.

Two murder cases stalled by requests for psychiatric evaluations

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Joshua Vance, the suspect in the stabbing death of his father in Onalaska and Weston G. Miller, the suspect in last week’s fatal shooting in Centralia will both be evaluated by psychiatrists from Western State Hospital before further court proceedings can take place.

The men are charged with first-degree murder in separate cases and are being held in the Lewis County Jail.

2012.0322.joshua.vance.close_2

Joshua Vance

Centralia J.P. Enbody who represented both before a judge today said the requested evaluations are to find out if they are competent to stand trial and able to assist their lawyers in their defense.

“Just to make sure he understands the nature of the proceedings, in a nutshell,” Enbody said.

Vance, 25, had been off his medication for several days two weeks ago when he allegedly attacked his father Terry Vance while he was asleep in bed, according to his family. The Centralia College student was hospitalized himself for lacerations to his fingers after telling a first responder he cut them to make himself stop.

His lawyer, David Arcuri, said he made the request for reasons he wouldn’t discuss based on attorney-client confidentiality. He called it a 15-day evaluation.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said while sometimes the competency evaluations are done by Western State staff at the jail, they would make sure Vance got his conducted at the state mental hospital near Steilacoom.

Both men were on the court schedule today to make their pleas and have trial dates set. But that didn’t happen.

Vance was brought into the courtroom but taken away before his case was addressed. Miller was not brought up from the jail at all.

Centralia attorney Enbody said it wasn’t necessary for his client to be present.

Miller, 29, was arrested on Tuesday of last week after police were called to his home on B Street in Centralia and found his house guest dead of two gunshot wounds to his chest area.

Prosecutors say it was an unprovoked attack inside the out-of-work welder’s house on B Street but Miller claims 43-year-old David Carson rushed him with a knife.

Enbody said the reason for the request was because the charges are “about as serious as they get” but declined to offer a more specific reason for wondering if his client might not be competent.

Deputy Prosecutor Kjell Werner said both sides “thought it was a good idea.”

Western State has up to 90 days to complete their evaluations, according to Enbody.

However, it took almost 15 months after a Centralia woman was arrested last spring before a judge was able to get the outcome of her mental evaluation.

A court date to review the progress of the evaluation for Miller was scheduled for April 5. A similar date was set for April 12 for Vance’s case.