Deputy Polly Davin testifies about the moments on March 9 of last year when she wrestled with a man and was shot.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Deputy Polly Davin told jurors of the moments before and after a man she approached inside the Grays Harbor County Courthouse twisted her duty weapon out of her hand and pointed it at her; she was laying on the floor and he was standing within kicking distance.
“The muzzle of the gun never stopped moving,” Davin said. “From my chest, up to my face.”
“I heard two shots,” she said.
One bullet went through her forearm, the other missed, according to attorneys who addressed a jury of four men and eight women today.
Davin said her assailant then looked around for a few seconds, and walked out the courthouse door.
The case of Steven Daniel Kravetz comes from the day a little more than a year ago that Davin was shot and a judge was stabbed inside the courthouse in Montesano in Grays Harbor County.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey is presiding, since judges in Grays Harbor recused themselves. A Lewis County jury is hearing the case in Chehalis.
Kravetz, 35, is charged with attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
This afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, Grays Harbor County Prosecutor H. Steward Menefee in opening statements described how Kravetz had been frustrated, for a long time. He was frustrated with sheriff’s office employees, district court officials, and hospital staff about how he’d been treated.
“Finally he decided he’d had enough,” Menefee said.
Menefee said Kravetz had begun to believe there was a conspiracy, conducted research to identify those involved and finally on March 9 of last year, took a bus from Olympia to the courthouse.
“He decided there must be some documents in the prosecutor’s office to prove the conspiracy,” Menefee said.
Jury selection began this morning; the prosecution began putting on its case late this afternoon.
Centralia defense attorney David Arcuri took only about seven minutes to open, conceding the basic facts about the struggle, the gun and the knife.
Arcuri suggested jurors listen closely to what is presented about what Kravetz was thinking at the time of the incident.
“What the state is not going to be able to prove to you is intent,” Arcuri told jurors.
Jurors heard this afternoon about a court employee spotting a man who seemed to be loitering, seemed to have no official business and appeared as though he didn’t want his face to be seen.
Deputy Davin responded from the sheriff’s office to look for the subject she said was described as dressed professionally in slacks and a blue shirt, and carrying a brief case.
Davin said she entered at the lower level, went upstairs and then had returned to the top of the stairway when she finally saw the subject ahead of her.
She asked what he was up to, asked him for identification, and when she started to put her hand on his elbow, he suddenly turned and attacked her, she said.
The man put his arm around her neck and pulled her close to him, and as she struggled to reach her radio, she put her right arm against her gun, Davin testified.
“I felt him get a sudden surge of energy, is what it felt like to me,” Davin said. “Then he took me to the ground, he threw me to the ground.”
He was on top of her, she was flailing, she said.
Then Grays Harbor Superior Court Judge David L. Edwards appeared, grabbed the man and shoved him away, Menefee had already told jurors.
Davin said as the judge was trying to fight the man off, she saw stabbing motions.
“I was still on he ground, I drew my gun, pointed it in their direction and I said stop,” Davin testified.
The man stopped stabbing the judge, Davin said, but he turned toward her, wrenched the gun from her grip and pointed it.
Her survival instincts took over, and she was kicking at his legs, she said.
“I couldn’t get a good kick in,” Davin said.
Menefee asked her what she was thinking.
“When the shot hit me, I remember it was pretty painful,” she said. “I was immobilized.”
After the gunshots, according to Menefee, the judge believed the deputy was dead and retreated upstairs to hide. Davin said she lay on the floor for awhile, with her Taser, in case the assailant came back.
Davin’s .45 caliber Glock was found when a search was conducted at Kravetz mother’s home in Olympia, according to Menefee. Kravetz had called his mother to come and get him from the courthouse, Menefee said.
Judge Edwards is expected to take the witness stand in the morning.
The trial could last into Tuesday.
Steven Daniel Kravetz listens to his attorney David Arcuri as the first day of trial comes to a close.