Archive for February, 2013

Read about March trial set in Lewis County for man charged in attack at Montesano courthouse …

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The (Aberdeen) Daily World reports the trial will be held in Lewis County for Steven Daniel Kravetz, accused of shooting a deputy and stabbing a judge in the Grays Harbor County courthouse last March.

News reporter Brionna Friedrich writes defense attorney David Arcuri told Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey yesterday he will argue his client has diminished capacity in a trial scheduled for March 25.

Read about it here

News brief: Sawmill fire extinguished in Centralia

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters spent three hours this morning dousing smoldering sawdust at a Centralia mill.

Crews responded about 8:50 a.m. to a fire alarm at Sierra Pacific in the Port of Centralia’s industrial park on Kuper Road, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

“We ended up having a fire in  the bag house, where all the sawdust from the mill goes,” Fire Capt. Greg Schwartz said.

A pair of employees were already using an on-site hydrant and spraying water on the structure, he said. Schwartz described the bag house, or hopper, as a very large metal container outside the main building.

“It was one of these long, drawn out procedures to get it cooled down to be able to access the panels,” Schwartz said.

With workers’ assistance, firefighters were able get the panels open to hose down the contents of the hopper, he said.

Nobody was injured.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, February 28th, 2013


• Centralia police were called abut 11:10 a.m. yesterday to the Centralia Outlet Mall on the 1400 block of Lum Road after a male filled a garbage bag with about 60 pieces of clothing from the Ralph Lauren store and ran out the door. He waited until nobody was looking, but images were captured on security video, Sgt. Carl Buster said. It was mostly packaged shirts, according to Buster.


• Three strangers who knocked on a woman’s door on the 900 block of K Street in Centralia accusing her of owing money broke a window out of her car as they left yesterday afternoon, according to police. An officer called about 4:15 p.m. was told one of the women was an adult and the other females were younger, according to police. Sgt. Carl Buster said one of them told her she owed her mom $100. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Police were called about 5:20 p.m. yesterday about welding tools and a cell phone missing from the 200 block of Silver Street in Centralia. The suspect is possibly someone she knows, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police a report about 8:50 p.m. yesterday of the theft of money and medication from the 1200 block of Alder Street.


• An 18-year-old Centralia resident was cited yesterday for possession of marijuana after police contacted him about 3:45 p.m. at Pioneer Way and Johnson Road in Centralia. John J. Piper was then released, according to police.


• Chehalis police took reports of several vehicles getting “egged” yesterday morning on Northeast Adams Avenue and then later in the day on Southwest Fifth Street.

• A deputy was called yesterday to Claquato Cemetery on the 100 block of Stearns Road west of Chehalis where sometime since Tuesday a vehicle apparently left the roadway and ran down about 12 feet of hedge.

No trial for Chehalis bar fight that included knife, brass knuckles, two women

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Lena A. Castillo pleads guilty to a lesser charge today in connection with stabbing another woman outside a Chehalis bar.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 24-year-old Centralia woman who pulled out a knife after she was assaulted by another bar patron last month accepted a plea deal in which she will spend six months in jail.

Lena A. Castillo was charged with first-degree assault after the January 12 fight outside Garbe’s in Chehalis; the 22-year-old victim was treated for six stab wounds.

But today in Lewis County Superior Court, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said second-degree assault was the more appropriate charge.

“Had this gone to trial, she would have had a self defense claim,” Halstead told the judge.

Halstead said surveillance video shows Ashley Stewart was the primary aggressor, that she approached Castillo, she struck Castillo twice and then they “basically grabbed each other by the hair.” The fight didn’t last very long, Halstead said.

Stewart admitted she picked up a pair of brass knuckles she found sitting on a table and then used them in the short brawl, according to Halstead.

The end of the video showed the victim on the ground, on her back with Castillo on top of her continuing to stab her, he said.

“We all know you can’t bring a gun or a knife to a fist fight,” Halstead said.

Defense attorney Michael Underwood called it a “sucker punch” and said it galled him Stewart could claim to be the victim.

His client just reacted, Underwood said. Her head was pulled down and she was hit from behind, he said.

However, had she gone to trial and lost, she faced as long as 10 years in prison, he said.

“I think, from her perspective, she’d say I’d like to go to trial, but you’ve got a 2-year-old child and a 4-year-old child who would teenagers when she got out,” Underwood said.

Castillo pleaded guilty this afternoon to second-degree assault. She chose not to address the court when the judge inquired.

She didn’t know brass knuckles were used, according to her lawyer. Halstead said she suffered a scratch to the back of her neck, although police previously said she suffered some bruising on her head.

Brass knuckles are illegal to possess. The knife was described as a small lighter-knife combination with a double-edged blade.

Stewart was treated for four stab wounds to her stomach and one to each leg and was expected to make a full recovery.

Stewart told police she’d been jumped previously by Castillo and other women; the disagreement was related to a male they both previously had a relationship with, according to Halstead.

Because Castillo has no prior felonies, the standard sentence under state law has to be between three and nine months.

Both attorneys asked Judge James Lawler to give her six months.

“It’s one thing to react to getting punched,” Lawler said. “It’s another to pull a knife out and start sticking somebody.”

And then he agreed to sentence Castillo to six months in jail, with credit for 46 days already served.

Lawler ordered her to pay about $2,400 in fees, get one year of so-called community custody upon her release and have no contact with Stewart for 10 years.

For background, read:

• “Centralia woman charged in bar fight stabbing” from Monday January 14, 2013 at 9:47 p.m., here

News brief: Two injured with accidental gunshot at Chehalis store

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two people were shot when a man holstering his pistol outside a Chehalis retailer apparently caused it to discharge today.

Police and aid were called about 1:45 p.m. to the parking lot at Sunbird Shopping Center on the 1700 block of North National Avenue.

The preliminary investigation indicates a gentleman had just purchased a new holster and was putting his gun inside it, Chehalis Police Department Deputy Chief Randy Kaut said.

“It accidentally discharged and went through his other hand and (into) his wife’s leg,” Kaut said.

Kaut said he understood the man was standing next to his truck and his wife was seated inside.

Both were taken by ambulance to Providence Centralia Hospital. Chehalis Fire Department Capt. Casey Beck said the injuries appeared to be non-life threatening.

The couple are in their 40s and from the Centralia-Rochester area, according to police.

Detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said the 9 mm bullet was lodged in the woman’s thigh, and seems to have broken her leg.

She was transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for surgery, he said.

Wilson said he’s assuming the husband had his finger on the trigger.

While it appears to be an accident, it came out of ignoring basic firearm safety rules, according to Wilson.

No one should be handling a loaded firearm in a public place like a busy parking lot, nor should they ever point a gun at something they don’t intend to shoot, he said.

“You just don’t do these things; you shouldn’t,” he said. “I’m not here to pass judgement. It is what it is.”

Wilson said he planned to let the couple “get fixed up” before he takes a look at any possible violations of the law.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning they have a suspect in the theft of portions of a 40-foot steel bridge missing from where they were being stored on the 200 block of Kruger Road near Onalaska. A Kirkland-based company reported the theft on Friday, after a worker noticed most of the bridge pieces were missing, according to the sheriff’s office. An individual in the Lewis County Jail who allegedly committed another similar theft has reportedly been saying he had permission to take the materials for scrap and is under investigation, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said. The dollar loss was not noted.


• Police were called abut 1:25 p.m. yesterday to the 1300 block of Alexander Street in Centralia to take a report of $20 stolen from a room.


• Centralia police took a report about 3 p.m. yesterday of a building getting tagged with spray paint at the 600 block of Field Avenue.

• Police were called yesterday about 11:30 a.m. regarding regarding a small hole found in a window on the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue. It’s unknown what was used to cause the damage, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called about 9 p.m. yesterday by an individual who reported someone drove by and threw an egg at their car. The individual apparently followed the culprit through the south end of town but a responding officer was unable to locate the suspect vehicle, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• Centralia police reported this morning they are referring a case of possession of methamphetamine for a possible charge against a 36-year-old Centralia woman in connection with a location at the 1300 block of Lakeshore Drive. A summary of yesterday’s incidents labels the case as a warrant arrest with no arrest.


• A 29-year-old Chehalis driver complained of a sore back after a single-vehicle collision about 6:30 a.m. yesterday on the 1200 block of Bunker Creek Road west of Chehalis. An arriving deputy was told by the driver she didn’t realize there was ice on the road when her westbound car crossed the centerline and ran into a bank, leaving the Toyota Corolla with major front end damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She was cited for speeds too fast for conditions, according to the sheriff’s office.


• And, as usual, some warrant arrests, assisting another agency with response to possible drug overdose, complaint of family dispute, shoplift and more …

News brief: Kid crime stoppers starts in Chehalis schools

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Lewis County Crime Stoppers has launched a student crime stoppers program in Chehalis schools.

In an announcement last week, the 18-year-old local program which accepts anonymous tips and pays reward money for help in solving crime said it has partnered with the district to reach out to staff, parents and youngsters at W.F. West High School, Chehalis Middle School and Olympic Elementary School.

It grew out an offering at a meeting last fall with local school superintendents, according to a news release.

“With all the school tragedies happening around the country, this could be one more tool to help in the prevention of an incident occurring locally,” Crime Stoppers states.

The hope is to combat inappropriate behavior, criminal activities on campus and to get tips about some things even before they occur, according to the nonprofit organization, and since the tips can be made anonymously, young people can avoid being tagged as snitches.

It uses the same phone number as the existing Crime Stoppers program: 1-800-748-6422.

The new program will be the focus of the upcoming Crime Stoppers dinner and auction fundraiser to be held on April 20 at the Southwest Washington  Fairgrounds.

News brief: Two alleged taggers arrested in Centralia

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police announced they arrested two individuals in their ongoing investigation of an increase in gang-related graffiti in the downtown corridor.

One of them reportedly told officers he was spray painting over existing graffiti not because he was a rival gang member, but because he “.. hate(s) gangs, because they bring the city down and give it a bad name,” according to a news release from the Centralia Police Department.

The department earlier this month began offering cash rewards for tips as they began to see a more graffiti they attributed to the presence of an emerging gang. Graffiti posted by one gang can be a challenge to rival groups, who will then cross out each other’s graffiti as a sign of disrespect, according to police. Chief Bob Berg’s concern is that leads to retaliation, which often leads to violence.

Last Friday, off-duty officers came across two of their suspects and arrested them, according to police.

Officers had identified several suspects based on inquiries with local merchants about purchases of spray paint and also viewing private businesses’ security video in the course of their investigation, according to police.

Arrested for one count each of third-degree malicious mischief were Jeremy M. Barron, 21, and Jalab L. Browning, 18, both Centralia residents, according to Officer John Panco. Panco said he expects additional instances of tagging will be pinned to the young men.

They two were released pending their appearance in Centralia Municipal Court on March 5.

The hunt for other taggers continues.