Archive for May, 2012

News brief: Flapjack fundraiser for law enforcement memorial

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

A clay model of the what will become a bronze statue by sculptor Jim Stafford. / Courtesy photo Lewis County Sheriff's Office

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Off duty deputies and other employees of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office will be serving breakfast at Applebee’s on Saturday morning to raise money for the memorial to fallen local law enforcement officers to be placed in front of the Law and Justice Center in Chehalis.

So far, $28,000 has been raised out of an estimated $55,000 needed for the almost life-sized tribute of an officer, a police dog and a child, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at the sheriff’s office front counter or at the door that morning.

The event runs from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. The breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, coffee, milk and juice.

Applebee’s is at 1670 NW Louisiana Ave. in Chehalis.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, May 31st, 2012


• Centralia police were called to an apartment building about 10 p.m. yesterday after a stranger walked uninvited into two different units and said he was looking for someone. One of those inside thought they saw the outline of a gun in his waistband, according to police. The individual, described as a tall, skinny male, said if he didn’t find who was looking for, he would be back, according to the Centralia Police Department. It happened on the 300 block of Centralia College Boulevard. Those inside said they did not know him, Sgt. Brian Warren said.


• Chehalis police yesterday arrested a 45-year-old woman for organized retail theft in connection with a vacuum cleaner she allegedly shoplifted from Wal-Mart on Saturday. Brigette Romero reportedly admitted she and others have been targeting various Wal-Mart stores over the previous three or so weeks and then returning the goods or selling them, according to Sgt. Gwen Carrell. Vacuum cleaners are becoming an especially hot item to shoplift from retail stores, Carrell said.


• Centralia police are investigating a burglary at an apartment on the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road. It was reported about 4:40 p.m. yesterday.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says they are looking for information about a male and two females seen the past two weeks walking up and down Berry Road west of Napavine as they investigate a burglary in which a house was ransacked. A resident on the 400 block of Berry Road returned home on Monday evening after being gone less than two hours and found the back door wide open, according to the sheriff’s office. Missing was a shotgun, a jewelry box and prescription medications including Oxycontin, hydrocodone and blood pressure pills, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. One of the suspect women came to a neighbor’s door during the past two weeks and asked to use the bathroom, and then ran away, Brown said.


• A motor was stolen from a boat parked at West Reynolds Avenue near Interstate 5, according to a report made to Centralia police on Tuesday morning.

• A 10 horsepower outboard motor was removed from a boat parked inside a fenced area at a storage facility on the 300 block of West Reynolds Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made on Sunday to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Sometime between 9 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 a.m. on Monday, a red generator was stolen from behind a motor home on Riffe Road in Packwood and a blue generator was stolen from where it had been chained to a tree on U.S. Highway 12 at Huntington Road, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s office.


• Chehalis police were called about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday to the parking lot at Valley View Medical Center on Northeast Kresky Avenue to a vehicle prowl in which patient information and other items were reported stolen. Among the missing items were a stethoscope, medical ID, a metal case and paperwork, according to the Chehalis Police Department. There was no forced entry into the vehicle, according to police.

• Chehalis police were called to Southwest Fourth Street where someone had taken a bicycle and broken into a motor home, according to a report made on Saturday evening.


• A 28-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for illegal possession of prescription medications and rendering criminal assistance yesterday afternoon following contact with an officer at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to police. April L. Jones was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

• Centralia police on Tuesday afternoon arrested a woman at the 1300 block of Lum Road for possession of methamphetamine and a warrant. Jessica E. Ackley, 30, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Mitchell Galster, 36, of Centralia, was arrested following a traffic stop early Tuesday morning when he was stopped for driving with a suspended license. He acknowledged there was marijuana in his vehicle when a drug sniffing dog alerted to the presence of drugs and allowed police inside the vehicle, according to Chehalis police. Suspected residue was found in a pipe and on a knife, Sgt. Gwen Carrell said. Galster was subsequently booked into the Lewis County jail for possession of methamphetamine and heroin, Carrell said.


• A Chehalis mother called police when she arrived home to find at least a half dozen youngsters and a party going on. The 16-year-old who lives there is being referred to prosecutors for a possible charge of furnishing liquor, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Officers subsequently contacted three underage individuals who were cited for being a minor in possession of or under the influence of liquor, Sgt. Gwen Carrell said. It happened just before 11 p.m. at a home on the 100 block of Southwest William Avenue.


• Chehalis police were called just before 5 p.m. on Sunday when six teenage boys were seen walking on Southeast Adams Avenue with their pants around their ankles. It wasn’t clear if an officer was able to locate them, according to police.


• Police were called to the 600 block of Field Avenue in Centralia about graffiti sprayed onto a building, according to a report made Tuesday afternoon.

Man gets four years for cooking up Ecstasy in Centralia house

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It turns out, 31-year-old Joshua Paul Green wasn’t manufacturing sea coral in his Oxford Avenue house.

It was Ecstasy, an illegal so-called club drug.

Green, who was arrested in late March following a search of his Centralia residence, was sentenced today to four years in prison.


Oxford Avenue house

When he pleaded guilty this morning in Lewis County Superior Court, Green also admitted he wasn’t Jonah Andrew Farrer, a name he’d used with police here before and belonged to a dead man in Alabama.

The plea deal avoided a trial, with the possibility of a much longer prison stay if convicted, because prosecutors previously included a “firearms enhancement” with the other charges. Those can each carry an additional three year sentence.

The Centralia Police Department went to Green’s home on March 29, they said to serve a protection order regarding Green’s girlfriend.

Officers got information Green’s .45 caliber Colt pistol was a stolen gun and secured a search warrant.

Once inside the two-story house, officers found numerous guns and what they suspected was a methamphetamine lab, with amount of chemicals so large, a contractor for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration was called upon to deal with the cleanup.

It turns out none of the guns were stolen, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke said today.

Green’s lawyer told the judge his client owned up to the situation from the beginning. Attorney Michael Underwood wasn’t present at Green’s very first court appearance, when the court was told he was self-employed, growing coral, but hadn’t made any money from that yet.

Green pleaded guilty to manufacture of Ecstasy, and possession of methamphetamine – a personal use amount police found – as well as two counts of identity theft.

Both attorneys agreed upon the length of the sentence they recommended to the judge.

Judge Nelson Hunt went along with it.

He also agreed to waive extradition to Alabama, where he has a warrant because of a probation violation on a juvenile conviction.


For background, read “Unusual drug lab, guns and a mystery man” from Friday March 30, 2012, here

Parents: DOC was warned about knife before Rochester mother stabbed in neck

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Ruth Daarud is out of the hospital and healing from a near fatal knife attack.

Updated at 5:46 p.m. on Wednesday May 30, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

ROCHESTER – Five days before Amanda Lee Bassell was arrested for allegedly plunging a kitchen knife into her sleeping mother’s throat, her mother asked the state Department of Corrections to get the 23-year-old out of their Rochester home, because she was afraid for her own life.

Bassell was released from prison in mid-May, after being locked up for almost three years for assaulting her uncle with a knife and for assaulting a guard shortly after being incarcerated.

She was under the supervision of a community corrections officer. The former Centralia resident was approved to live with her parents.


Amanda Lee Bassell

Ruth Daarud, 42, said she told the community corrections office that she repeatedly had to take a knife away from her grown daughter and feared something would happen.

“She kept hiding a knife,” Dallas Daarud, Bassell’s father, said. “She sneaked it and would hide it in her purse or in her room, for protection she said.”

The Daaruds contend community corrections officers missed three home visits during the nine days their daughter was out, and failed to follow through after saying they would take her away and find alternative housing.

The near fatal attack could have been prevented, they say

“She was out of control, they neglected to make a home visit,”  Dallas Daarud said. “I hold them fully responsible for my wife almost dying.”

A spokesperson for DOC said their after-release monitoring of convicts can only minimize the risk they will reoffend.

“There’s nothing anybody can do to guarantee somebody’s not going to commit a new crime,” spokesperson Chad Lewis said. “Even incarceration doesn’t prevent it.”

Lewis said last Thursday he’d been promoted to director of communications for DOC, and couldn’t address if any field visits were missed, but he would have a spokesperson call the following day to respond to more detailed questions.

He noted that community corrections officers don’t find places for released inmates to reside; they only approve addresses.

The former Salzer Valley couple said they moved into a house in south Thurston County this spring, specifically so their daughter might have a chance for success when she got of prison. Bassell was prohibited from going to Lewis County. The Daaruds thought that would help keep her from her old friends and temptations.

DOC approved the plan, they said.

“A couple of days before, they came to visit to make sure the house was finished, go through and lay out the rules for us,” Dallas Daarud said. “To tell us she’s dangerous, and how closely they’re going to watch her.”

Then they never came back, he said.

Bassell, who also goes by her given name of Daarud, went from an honor roll student to outrageous and out of control almost overnight, according to her parents. She told a psychologist she began smoking methamphetamine in high school.

She was diagnosed as bipolar years ago, her father said.

By age 20, she’d tallied up six felony convictions.

The Daaruds said they thought their daughter would get her mental health problems treated while incarcerated, but instead, she spent most of her time in solitary confinement while at the Washington Corrections Center for Women near Purdy.

“Sometimes she’d be in there, just her,” Ruth Daarud said. “No books, no magazines. If she behaved, she could get a radio and TV.”

After awhile, she decided she didn’t want out of “the hole” anymore, her mother said.

Bassell was released on May 11, just before Mothers Day.

She was under the highest of four levels of supervision by the community corrections division of DOC, meaning they would make more home visits than usual, according to Lewis.

He said she was supervised out of the Olympia office.

“We thought that we would give her a chance because we’re her parents,” Ruth Daarud said. “But then we knew within a couple of days it wasn’t going to work.”

It was the Tuesday after her daughter came home that Ruth Daarud accompanied her to the community corrections satellite office in Rochester, she said.

While her daughter was out of the room, she told the community corrections officer about the knife, and told her her daughter had tried to hurt them before, she said.

“They said they would come by that evening when they were done with their visits,” she said. “But they never came.”

Ruth Daarud said she was told also the community corrections officer would come over the following day and remove her daughter. They waited, and nobody showed up, she said.

Early in the morning on May 20, Ruth Daarud awoke in her bed when she felt a hand over her mouth, was stabbed in the neck and fought her daughter to get the knife away, she and prosecutors say.

“That night, it was survival, I just did what I had to do to live,” she said.

Ruth Daarud said she made her way to the kitchen where she dialed 911. She thought her daughter had killed her husband because she didn’t know where he was, she said.

Dallas Daarud said he had fallen asleep downstairs, and didn’t know what woke him, but he found the back door open and his wife outside by their hot tub.

They began walking south on Elderberry Street Southwest toward his brother’s home, and that’s when deputies arrived, they said.

She was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia where she underwent surgery and stayed four days.

“All the surgeon could say is there’s no explanation for why it didn’t kill her,” her husband said.

The knife went nearly through, stopping short of her spinal cord, scraping her carotid artery and damaging her esophagus and trachea, her family said.

Ruth Daarud said she thinks her daughter tried to kill her because she blames her parents for everything that is wrong in her life.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said Bassell fled after the incident, and was found that night, barefoot and wet, hiding in an abandoned house a few blocks away.

The 23-year-old is being held on $500,000 bail in the Thurston County Jail. She was charged last week with attempted first-degree murder.

The state Department of Corrections is conducting what it calls a critical incident review.

Spokesperson Selena Davis said couldn’t answer many questions, as she didn’t know the details.

“We recommend anytime someone feels in imminent danger to call 911,” Davis said.

Davis said it’s important to remember the job of a community corrections officer is not to provide emergency response, but is a long term process to help transition offenders back into society.

How often a person on monitoring should be seen is up to the individual community corrections officer, she said.

It can be as few as two in person contacts in a month to as much as a daily phone call, she said.

“Typically for the majority in a caseload, an offender would be seen once a week,” she said. “At their home or in the office.”

The review of how Bassell’s case was handled could be finished in as little as two months, according to Davis.

The Daaruds say their daughter needs help they can’t give her.

She is smart, manipulative and – her father thinks – suffering from mental problems from previous drug use, and exacerbated by spending almost three years alone in a 9-foot by 9-foot cell.

Ruth Daarud didn’t raise her voice or emphasize any particular word when she said what she hoped the outcome would be in court.

“I want her to pay for what she did and I don’t ever want to see her again,” she said.

Dallas Daarud is “through the roof” angry, he says.

Her mother was her last chance for support, he says about their daughter.

“And if they could have just done their job, and she’d still have that,” he said.

Ruth Daarud is healing. Her voice will improve, she said quietly.

“I really would like to see my daughter find some peace,” she said. “But I don’t think she ever will.”


For background, read:

• “Rochester woman accused of stabbing mother, convicted previously of knife assault” from Tuesday May 22, 2012 at 10:48 p.m., here

• “Breaking news: Rochester stabbing suspect found hiding in abandoned house” from Sunday May 20, 2012 at 7:55 p.m., here

• “Breaking news: Woman sought after early morning stabbing in Rochester” from Sunday May 20, 2012 at 10:28 a.m., here


Ruth Daarud is back at the Rochester home she shares with her husband following a knife attack nine days ago.

Mother’s boyfriend now faces drug, rape and homicide charges in death of toddler

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – When police searched the house off of West Oakview Avenue following the death of 2-year-old Koralynn Fister, they found methamphetamine in the suspect’s dresser drawer, according to authorities.

Prosecutors added a drug offense when they charged James M. Reeder today in Lewis County Superior Court.


James M. Reeder

Reeder, 25, was arrested on Thursday evening after aid and police were called to the Centralia neighborhood. He told police he found the child face down in the bathtub when he stepped out to grab a towel. Authorities said they found numerous injuries, including signs of rape.

He was shackled at the waist and feet when he appeared before Judge Richard Brosey this afternoon.

Reeder was charged today not with murder, as the prosecutor had indicated they were pursuing, but homicide by abuse.

The crime is a class A felony, with a maximum penalty of life in prison.


Koralynn Fister

He was also charged with two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree child rape and possession of methamphetamine.

Earlier today, Koralynn’s mother was in another courtroom, as Child Protective Services attempts to determine what to do with Koralynn’s  4-year-old half sister. Police asked them to take the child temporarily into protective custody the evening Koralynn died.

A CPS spokesperson said it’s too early to know the state’s intentions.

The mother, Becky Heupel, shared her home with Reeder and her two daughters for about 10 weeks.

Heupel and the 4-year-old’s natural father both suggested, through attorneys this morning, the child could live with relatives of theirs.


For background, read “Breaking news: Mother’s boyfriend held for investigation of rape, murder of Centralia child” from Friday May 25, 2012 at 5 p.m., here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


• A 38-year-old man was arrested when deputies responded to screaming and cries for help coming from inside a motor home on Sunday night on the 1100 block of Koontz Road outside Chehalis. The deputy was told James G. McClure had thrown his girlfriend to the ground and put her in a choke hold, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree assault.


• Law was called to Toledo High School on Friday morning after a student allegedly handed out Vicodin to some classmates. The 15-year-old boy had a prescription for the medication, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. One student did come forward with the meds, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown. The case is being referred to prosecutors for a possible drug charge, Brown said.


• A deputy was called last night to a church on the 100 block of Brockway Road outside Chehalis where three surveillance cameras had been stolen. The deputy recognized an individual depicted in images captured by the equipment and two boys, ages 17 and 16, were contacted, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The cameras were recovered, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The case will be referred for potential theft charges, according to Brown.


• Centralia police took a report of a burglary at a residence on the 1100 block of Alder Street on Sunday. Jewelry was taken, according to police.

• Police were called just after 6 a.m. on Sunday to an attempted burglary on the 200 block of Downing Road in Centralia. Someone broke a window and cut  cable to a surveillance camera, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A pistol and an estimated $1,600 worth of tools were reported stolen from a garage area on the 1000 block of J Street in Centralia on Friday morning.


• A red 1998 Acura was reported stolen from the 2800 block of Russell Road in Centralia, according to police. An officer was called about the missing car about 7:40 p.m. yesterday. It has white rims and a faded front bumper that looks pink, according to the Centralia Police Department. it’s license plate reads 236 XYU.


• A truck stolen out of Pierce County was found yesterday abandoned three miles up a logging road off Anderson Road in Glenoma. The 2001 Chevrolet pickup was in decent condition except a winch and other items were missing,  according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• A 23-year-old Centralia woman was arrested after she allegedly attempted to shoplift on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue and fought with security personnel, according to the Centralia Police Department. Destiny C. Lloyd was booked into the Lewis County jail for second-degree robbery after the evening incident, according to police.


• A dog track turned up most of the items stolen from a concession stand at the 2000 block of Borst Avenue in Centralia on Saturday. They were hidden a short distance away, according to police.

• Police were called about 9:30 p.m. last night about the theft of a wallet from a vehicle at the 1500 block of Jensen Avenue in Centralia.


• Riverside Fire Authority called about 5:25 p.m. yesterday to a fire at the 100 block of Aurora Street in Centralia found an occupant had extinguished the flames. They were limited to an oven, according to Capt. Scott Weinert.


• The lone occupant of a Honda Accord serious escaped injury when his car crashed into an embankment on Seminary Hill Road outside Centralia last night, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Firefighters called about 8:50 p.m. found both airbags had deployed but the vehicle appeared to be totaled, according to Capt. Scott Weinert. The 25-year-old driver said he reached for something and when he looked up he was on the wrong side of the road with a vehicle coming at him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Koralynn Marie Fister: 2010 – 2012

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Well over 200 people raised their candles tonight for two-year-old Koralynn Fister at Washington Park in Centralia. The short vigil intended for healing of the community following last week's tragic death of the Centralia toddler was organized by the emergency room at Providence Centralia Hospital.

News brief: Motorcycle crash near Packwood sends one to Harborview

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A motorcycle rider was airlifted to a Seattle trauma hospital after a wreck in which he was tossed and flipped multiple times this afternoon on U.S. Highway 12 about eight miles east of Packwood, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Paul M. Kellar, 62, of Yakima, was eastbound when he drove off the road to the right and lost control, according to the state patrol.

A trooper called to the scene just before 4 p.m. noted Kellar suffered internal and head injuries as well as broken bones. He was flown to Harborview Medical Center.

Both Kellar and his bike landed in the dirt, according to the trooper.

His 2003 Honda 1800 sustained an estimated $3,000 damage, the state patrol reported. It was removed by family and friends.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

News brief: Pair mugged overnight in Centralia

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two 20-year-old men reported they were robbed by masked and gun-wielding subjects as they were walking in north Centralia overnight, according to police.

Officers called just before 2 a.m. to an area along the railroad tracks beneath the Sixth Street viaduct were told a pair of males in their late teens to early 20s approached them on foot from behind, police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said.

Both subjects were wearing blue bandanas over their faces, covering everything but their eyes, police were told. One had a gun.

He fired it one to four times into the brush, Reichert said.

A wallet, money, a knife and other personal items were stolen, Reichert said.

The victims are from Chehalis and Toledo, according to Reichert. He didn’t know for sure why they walking near the train tracks.

A search with a police dog failed to locate any suspects, he said.

Breaking news: Mother’s boyfriend held for investigation of rape, murder of Centralia child

Friday, May 25th, 2012

James M. Reeder is escorted out of court and back down to the jail.

Updated at 11:37 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Prosecutors told a judge this afternoon they believe a Centralia toddler was raped and tortured before she died.

James M. Reeder, 25, appeared before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon. He is the mother’s live-in boyfriend.

Reeder was not charged, but was ordered held on probable cause for murder, child rape and assault.

Koralynn Fister, 2, was pronounced dead at Providence Centralia Hospital yesterday after Reeder carried her to a house across the street and said he found her face down in the bathtub after he stepped out to get a towel. He was arrested last night.


Koralynn Fister

Defense attorney Bob Schroeter said his client absolutely and positively denies the allegations and has no history of any felony.

The judge ordered the Centralia resident held on $5 million bail.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer requested a 72-hour hold on Reeder to allow more time for investigation and a final charging decision.

The filed declaration of probable cause describes significant bruising, cuts, abrasions and other wounds found on the child’s body, some in more advanced stages of healing than others.

Among the injuries noted were palm-sized pieces of skin missing from her buttocks, caused according to forensic evaluation, by traumatic injuries inflicted upon the child.

The declaration also mentions missing skin on the top and bottom of a toe, but offers no specific explanation for how any wounds were inflicted.

The pathologist’s examination found four distinct areas of head trauma, according to the declaration. Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said earlier today Koralynn died from that and drowning.

Prosecutor Meyer indicated in his filing he believed probable cause existed for at least two counts of rape and assault.

Meyer’s declaration says none of the injuries were noted in a well-child exam conducted in early April and that Reeder has been living with the mother and her two daughters for about 10 weeks.

The prosecutor wrote that Reeder persuaded the mother about a month ago  to divide up parenting duties and would insist when the mother left, she take the oldest daughter with her, leaving him time alone with the toddler.

A passage in the declaration includes Reeder telling police the bath began shortly after the mother and older child left the residence at about 12:30 p.m., and neighbors reporting it was around 3:15 p.m. when Reeder was beating on their door, holding the girl and yelling for help.

The fire department was called at 3:09 p.m.

The neighbors said Reeder did CPR on their porch until aid arrived. A witness indicated the child was cold to the touch, according to the declaration.

Centralia Police Department Officer Gary Byrnes noticed the smell of burnt marijuana inside the house, the declaration states.

When Prosecutor Meyer asked for high bail, he said Reeder was a danger to others, even the mother.

“I won’t go into graphic detail, but suffice it to say, that in my career this is the worst case of child abuse and neglect that I have seen,” Meyer said.

Defense attorney Schroeter asked for reasonable bail, pointed out to the judge a row of Reeder’s family members sitting in the back of the courtroom.

“Nobody is more distraught about this situation than Mr. Reeder,” Schroeter said.

“All indications are one person took positive action on behalf of this child,” he said. “And that is Mr. Reeder.”

Judge Richard Brosey granted prosecutor’s request to return Reeder to the courtroom on Tuesday afternoon.

Police today continued searching the house off of West Oakview Avenue.

The 4-year-old half sister has been taken into temporary protective custody.

The state Department of Social and Health Services Children’s Administration issued a statement saying they have no record of history involving the child, nor any previous allegations of abuse or neglect against the mother, Becky Heupel or her boyfriend.


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